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But student experiences don’t always match these results.On our own Student Life in America survey, over 50% of students reported feeling stressed, 25% reported that homework was their biggest source of stress, and on average teens are spending one-third of their study time feeling stressed, anxious, or stuck.More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.
Pope and her colleagues focused on upper-middle-class, privileged schools because it is in these communities that the accepted value of homework is deeply and unquestioningly entrenched.
Here many students describe schoolwork and the pressures of high academic performance as a dominating force in their day.
It means that sometimes kids who are on a rigorous college-prep track, probably are receiving more homework, but the statistics are melding it with the kids who are receiving no homework.
And on our survey, 64% of students reported that their parents couldn’t help them with their work.
"We realized that we need intervention around homework," she said, and not just with high school students.
While the present study was conducted with high schoolers, "we have the same data from the younger years." The researchers acknowledged the limitation of their reliance on students' self-reporting, but felt that it was important to explore the students' firsthand descriptions of their experiences with excessive homework.This is where the real homework wars lie—not just the amount, but the ability to successfully complete assignments and feel success.Parents want to figure out how to help their children manage their homework stress and learn the material.There were parents who, if the teacher was not giving homework at the younger grades, would buy their own workbooks and hand them to their children.Pope even heard from parents lamenting that they had not seen their children over an entire holiday weekend because they were attempting to complete homework assignments.Pope found in her work with Challenge Success, a Stanford collaboration formed in response to increasing emotional and mental health issues in American students, that homework kept coming up as a tension point.There were parents who wanted more homework and others who wanted less."The three hours of homework a night was an average, by the way," says Denise Pope, senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and co-author of the study published in the Journal of Experimental Education.The study surveyed more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.This conclusion aligns with the National PTA and National Education Association recommendations of 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night, maxing out at 120 minutes for high school seniors.And the 2014 Brown Center Report on American Education, found that with the exception of nine-year-olds, the amount of homework schools assign has remained relatively unchanged since 1984.