Education in States and Nations: 1991

(ESN) Indicator 18: Student time spent doing homework and watching television

How students occupy their time outside of school can affect their academic performance. Since homework is a form of practice or self-directed study, most educators feel that it improves student achievement. Empirical studies conducted on the subject, moreover, suggest that the amount of time spent on homework is positively related to academic achievement. However, statistics concerning the average number of hours spent on homework tell us little about the quality of the homework assigned or the effort and care students take in completing it. For many students, homework must compete with television for their attention. If students spend a lot of time watching television, little time is left to focus on academic studies. This indicator documents how students spend their time at home through two measures - the percentage of students who claim to do 2 hours or more of homework daily, and the percentage of students who report watching television one hour or less daily. Data for these two measures are based on the responses of 13-year-old students in the countries and 8th-grade public school students in the states.

Table 17b Processes and Institutions Indicators Figure 18a