EDUCATION INDICATORS: An International Perspective

Indicator 37: Homework Assistance

The percentage of 13-year-old students who receive assistance at home with their mathematics and science homework reflects assumptions held by parents concerning their role in their children's academic work. However, researchers have not conclusively demonstrated the relationship between assistance at home and student achievement. Home assistance may serve a remedial function, since children who are doing less well in school tend to receive greater amounts of help. This indicator is also influenced by the amount of time parents can devote to homework assistance and by parental attitudes in each country about the contribution they can make to their children's education.

• In 1991, more 13-year-olds in the United States received help at home with both their mathematics (74 percent) and science (53 percent) homework than did their counterparts in almost all of the other countries reported. Exceptions included Hungary, where more students received help at home in both subject areas; Spain, where more students received help at home with science homework; and Canada, where similar percentages received help at home with both their mathematics (59 percent) and science (47 percent) homework.

• The percentage of 13-year-old students who received help with homework at home varied considerably from country to country, ranging from 26 percent who received help with science homework (in the former Soviet Union and Switzerland) to 80 percent who received help with mathematics homework (in Hungary).

• More 13-year-old students received help with mathematics than with science homework in the United States and in every other country reported with the exception of Spain, Jordan, and Slovenia.*

Table 37: Percentage of 13-year-old students who receive help at home with homework, by subject area and country: 1991 /1

```
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Country			Mathematics	 	Science
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G-72
France			53 (1.0)		44 (1.5)
United States		74 (1.4)		53 (1.8)
Other
Hungary			80 (1.0)		61 (1.5)
Ireland			61 (1.4)		44 (1.9)
Israel			53 (1.4)		31 (1.3)
Jordan			43 (1.3)		40 (1.7)
Korea			53 (1.4)		44 (1.1)

Scotland		65 (1.7)		47 (1.6)
Slovenia		62 (1.5)		59 (1.7)
Soviet Union (former)	32 (1.3)		26 (1.0)
Spain			58 (1.5)		61 (1.5)
Switzerland		42 (1.3)		26 (1.4)
Taiwan			51 (1.1)		45 (1.1)
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```

1/ Jackknifed standard errors are presented in parentheses.
2/ No data available for Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

NOTE: Only countries in which comprehensive student populations were represented by the survey samples are included. Questionnaire administrations in Brazil, China, England, and Portugal either excluded groups or had participation rates below 70 percent. See supplemental note to Indicator 37 for details on indicator calculation for Canada, Israel, Scotland, the former Soviet Union, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

SOURCE: Educational Testing Service, International Assessment of Educational Progress, Learning Mathematics, 1992; Learning Science, 1992.

Figure 37: Percentage of 13-year-old students who receive help at home with mathematics or science homework, by selected country:* 1991

*Countries are sorted in descending order by percentage of students receiving home assistance with mathematics homework.

SOURCE: Educational Testing Service, International Assessment of Educational Progress, Learning Mathematics, 1992; Learning Science, 1992.

Notes on Figures and Tables

In some cases, countries limited assessments to particular geographic areas, language groups, or grade levels. A description of these limitations follow:

Canada, Israel, Scotland, the former Soviet Union, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States

[Indicator 36] [Societal Support for Education]