How Homework Can Foster Equity and Motivation in the Classroom: A Closer Look at What Effective and Inclusive Homework Entails

Homework practices and policies vary widely throughout education. The research on homework varies just as widely without conclusive findings regarding which homework practices are effective or inclusive for student learning. This case study explored two teachers who employed different homework practices and policies and what effect these homework implementations had on student motivation and participation when completing assignments. Both teachers were first interviewed to find what their practices, policies, and expectations were when it came to homework in their respective classes. Students’ grades were then collected to determine whether each homework implementation was effective and inclusive. Finally, student interviews were conducted to find what students’ expectations were of homework and what they found to be motivating when completing assignments. The data reported that a no homework policy wherein students are given time in class to complete assignments, but have the option to complete or refine these assignments at home was more effective for all students and inclusive for most social groups. Furthermore, student interviews revealed that they preferred the extrinsic motivation of completion grades and teacher feedback when completing assignments. Teachers need to keep in mind their students’ expectations and needs when implementing assignments to ensure successful learning and participation of all students.