1. Ikoma, Sakiko."Homework as critical socio-cultural practice: a cross-national analysis of homework, instructional practice, teaching conditions, and student achievement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 59th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington D.C., Mar 08, 2015 <Not Available>. 2020-02-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p990467_index.html>

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript Review Method: Peer Reviewed Abstract: Homework should be a useful tool for students to review what they learned in school and to further develop their knowledge and skills. If it is appropriately assigned, homework can be beneficial (Cooper, et al., 2006). However, as previous research has shown, homework can easily become a burden for students (Bennett & Kalish, 2006; Corno, 1996; Kohn, 2006). We tend to assume that teachers appropriately assign homework to their students, and that they learn appropriately what their teachers expect them to learn. Yet, what if students find themselves trapped in a maze of homework because their teachers assign too much or too less homework or because they do not have clear instructions and/or any useful feedback from their teachers?

Despite the fact that homework represents a major nexus between teacher-student interactions and parent-child interactions, homework practice has typically been regarded as merely an “extension” of regular teaching practices. Nonetheless, much research on homework has heavily focused on the direct linkage of homework and achievement and identified rather mixed findings of the effects of homework on student achievement (Cooper, 1989; Cooper et al., 2006; Horsley & Walker, 2013; Trautwein, 2007). Not only is there little focus on the relationship between teacher quality and their homework management, but also cross-national analysis on homework is still in a developing phase. Homework is indeed is closely related to teachers’ core classroom practices and has become ubiquitous in public education worldwide. Yet, cross-nationally different norms in teaching and learning still exist, which also uniquely contours each nation’s education system.

Based on Harris Cooper’s conceptual framework on homework research (e.g. Cooper, 2006), this study specifically sheds light on cross-national comparison of teachers’ homework practice as a critical factor that characterizes cultures of teaching and learning. Analyzing the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011, it explores the extent that national contexts shape culture of teaching and how it influences student achievement through homework practices. Two main research questions are as follows:

(1) How much variation in homework practices can be explained by cross-national difference in teacher instructional practices after controlling for teacher working conditions and backgrounds?
(2) How is then the relationship between homework practices and student achievement after controlling for student backgrounds?

This study utilizes an international large-scale dataset, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 and focuses on the 8th-grade students and their math teachers in 45 countries. In TIMSS 2011, students were sampled by the two-stage random sample design (Joncas & Foy, 2011). That is, schools were selected at the first stage and one or more intact classes of students selected from each of the sampled schools at the second stage. Teachers of those students then participated in the study. Therefore, it should be notified that the teachers were not necessarily randomly sampled.

In order to capture cross-national differences, this study employs Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM). In response to the first question, it investigates how teachers’ homework practices are related to the teacher-level characteristics—instructional practices, working conditions, and backgrounds—and how much between-nation variation of the dependent variable can be explained by two Hofstede’s (2011) national-level indicators—Individualism and Power Distance indices—after controlling Government expenditure per student as percentage of GDP per capita (Level 2). Individualism Index refers to how much a given country is individualistic, and Power Distance Index refers to how much a given country is tolerance for authoritarianism. In response to the second question, it explores the relationship between homework practices and student achievement controlling for student backgrounds including the frequency of parental help on their homework.

As Corno (1996) asserts, homework is indeed “extremely complicated” (p.27). The complexity arises from the fact that many factors affect the amount, intensity and emotional reaction to homework. Although it is difficult to disentangle all factors across a wide array of nations, previous work has shown that while some patterns are nation-specific, others are found in the vast majority of nations surveyed (Dettmers, Trautwein et al. 2009; Trautwein, Niggli et al., 2009). Preliminary analysis thus far shows some interesting but nonetheless mixed results on the relationship between various teacher characteristics and their homework management. It is anticipated that some variation is subject to cultural differences of homework management across those countries. This study contributes not only to buffering the current disconnection between homework research and policies in broader contexts, but also to our in-depth understanding of issues surrounding homework and instructional practices in the global contexts.

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript Review Method: Peer Reviewed Abstract: This paper explores a dynamic Hotspot lending program in a large urban library system initiated to alleviate the Homework Gap. This population is novel in digital divide research due to the fact that it consists entirely of parents of children without home broadband and represents parental experiences with educational expectations through technology use.

2012 - 56th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society

3. Shi, Qingmin., Wang, Jian., Zhang, Shaoan. and Lin, Emily."Attitudes toward math, math self-efficacy, math value on math achievement: Mediation role of time on homework" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 56th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Apr 22, 2012 <Not Available>. 2020-02-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p556639_index.html>

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript Review Method: Peer Reviewed Abstract: Attitudes Toward Math, Math Self-Efficacy, Math Value on Math Achievement:
Mediation Role of Time on Math Homework

The purpose of the current study was to determine the causal relationships among attitudes toward math (ATTM), math self-efficacy (MathSE), value on math (VOM), time on homework (TimeonHW), and math achievement (Math-ACH) across Hong Kong and U.S. samples drawing on the randomly selected 449 participants from Hong Kong and 449 from U.S. eighth-grade students who participated in TIMSS 2007 assessment. The following hypotheses examined were as follows: 1) Student attitudes toward math, math self-efficacy, value on math have positive effects on student achievement in math across Hong Kong and U.S. models. 2) Student attitudes toward math, math self-efficacy, value on math have effects on time students spent on homework; and in turn, time on math homework positively influences their math achievement across Hong Kong and U.S. models. Totally 13 questions related to student ATTM, MathSE, VOM, as well as TimeonHW in TIMSS, 2007 student questionnaire (TIMSS, 2007) were selected as independent variables and student math achievement scores estimated by the five plausible values were the observed dependent variable.
The IEA International Database Analyzer software (IDB, IEA, 2009) was used for data merging and initial analysis (Olson et al., 2008). The hypothesized models were tested with the EQS 6.1 program (Bentler, 2003) by examining the structure of direct and indirect effects on the two sample data for the current study. The initial data screening showed using EQS 6.1 indicated that the normalized estimate for two samples both larger than 5 (Bentler, 2005), a value employed for estimating whether the data are non-normally distributed. Therefore, the maximum likelihood Robust estimation was appropriate for this study and model fits were estimated according to the Satorra-Bentler Scaled chi-square (S-Bχ2), comparative fit index (CFI), non-normed fit index/Tucker-Lewis index (NNFI), and root mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA).
The results of this study indicated that the CFA model and the structural model fit the data well with modification for Hong Kong model. The hypothesized models were tested for both samples starting at the baseline model. The full SEM model fit the data well for the Hong Kong sample, S-Bχ2(69, N = 449) = 132.25, p < .001, CFI = .97, NNFI = .96, RMSEA = .045 (CI: .033 ~ .057), and S-Bχ2(67, N = 449) = 160.43, p < .001, CFI = .96, NNFI = .95, RMSEA = .056 (CI: .045 ~ .067) for the U.S. sample. The results of the current study regarding the effects of ATTM, MathSE, and VOM on TimeonHW, and in turn, on Math-ACH across Hong Kong and U.S. samples indicated that effects existed for the two groups. MathSE has a significantly negative effect on TimeonHW for Hong Kong sample, while a significantly positive effect on TimeonHW for U.S. sample. ATTM and VOM have a positive but nonsignificant effect on Math-ACH for Hong Kong sample, but a negative but nonsignificant effect for U.S. sample. Similarly, TimeonHW for Hong Kong sample has a significantly positive effect on Math-ACH, but a significantly negative effect for U.S. sample. That is, for Hong Kong students who reported spending more time on math homework have higher Math-ACH. For U.S. students, however, who reported more time spent on math homework received lower Math-ACH.
This study was significant in several ways. First, it adds to the literature and supports previous studies about the negative effects of attitudes and homework on U.S. student math achievement, which raises the concern about practices that intend to improve student achievement through assigning student more homework or developing their positive attitudes toward math. Second, it shows that the causal relationships between attitudes, self-efficacy and achievement may be mediated by other factors, such as time on homework or other social contexts. Therefore, it calls for more carefully designed studies to explore such a complex relationship.
References
Bentler, P. M. (2003). EQS 6 Structural Equations Program. Encino, CA: Multivariate Software,
Inc.
Bentler, P. M. (2005). EQS 6 Structural Equations Program Manual. Encino, CA: Multivariate
Software, Inc.
IEA (2009). International database analyzer (version 2.0). Hamburg, Germany: IEA Data Processing and Research Center.
Olson, J., Martin, M., & Mullis, I. (Eds.). (2008). TIMSS 2007 technical report. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College.
The Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS, 2007). TIMSS contextual background questionnaires: student questionnaire—math and science (Integrated Science Version). Retrieved September 10, 2010, from http://timss.bc.edu/TIMSS2007/PDF/T07_StudentQ_IS_G8.pdf.