Date of Award

Spring 5-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Edward Duncanson, EdD

Second Advisor

Marjorie Anctil, EdD

Third Advisor

Marcia A. B. Delcourt, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Laurel Halloran, PhD

Abstract

Presently, research is questioning the value of homework, especially at the elementary level. One reason homework is considered important is that it allows for the opportunity to practice and reinforce skills. Currently, elementary students in the United States are assigned homework in mathematics three or more times a week. Since homework assignments extend learning beyond the classroom environment, these assignments need to demonstrate an effective use of students’ and teachers’ time and energy.

Research has shown that mathematical problem-solving skills improve when students are metacognitively aware of the process they follow as they solve these problems, and this metacognitive awareness improves as students consistently practice and reinforce these skills. This study investigated the effects of metacognitive awareness on the development of problem-solving skills when metacognitive awareness practice was included as a part of mathematical problem-solving skills homework assignments of fourth-grade students.

This quasi-experimental study examined the effects of the independent variable of homework assignments with or without metacognitive awareness practice, on the dependent variables of mathematical problem-solving achievement, completion, accuracy, independence, and quality of responses. Although there was no significant effect of homework assignments, with or without metacognitive awareness practice, on these dependent variables, there was a significant correlation between independence and mathematical problem-solving, completion, accuracy, and quality. Students who independently completed their homework had higher achievement scores than students who did not. Students who received assistance on their homework showed a temporary improvement in the completion, accuracy, and quality of their responses. In other words, help with homework improved the homework assignment but did not carry over to improve achievement scores. The results of this study pointed out the need to explore how the construct of homework can be effectively utilized as an important element in the development of independent learners.

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