Date of Award

Summer 8-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Laura J. Mead, EdD

Second Advisor

Karen A. Burke, CSJ, EdD

Third Advisor

Kathryn Campbell, PhD


This study examined parent attitudes when assisting with elementary school students’ homework, comparing parents who used learning-style preference strategies with parents who used traditional homework strategies. The study also examined the attitudes toward homework and the academic self-perception of elementary students.

Teachers often expect parents to become involved in their child’s homework, but many parents are unsure of the strategies to use when helping. This study used an experimental research design. Participating in the study were 68 parents and 66 students randomly assigned to either the treatment or comparison group. The experimental parent group received data on their own learning style and their child’s learning-style preferences. They also received training on strategies to help with homework based on each child’s learning-style preferences. The comparison group received training on traditional homework strategies without the learning-styles component. All participants implemented the strategies for seven weeks of an eight-week period. Each group monitored and recorded information about parent-assisted homework on a researcher-designed survey.

Quantitative analysis was utilized to examine each research question. Parent and student attitudes toward homework assistance were assessed using the Pizzo Semantic Differential Scale. Student academic self-perception was assessed using the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children. These two instruments were administered as a posttest only. By randomizing assignment to group, the attributes for both the groups were assumed equivalent. Therefore, any effect observed between groups was linked to the treatment and was not a characteristic of the individuals in the group. The parent participants in the treatment group completed the Building Excellence Survey (BE; 2000) learning-styles assessment. The student participants in the treatment group were administered The Elementary Learning Styles Assessment (ELSA; 2007). Both identify the subjects’ learning-style preferences and were only used for understanding of learning-style strengths. Each research question used affective measures, and data were analyzed using a one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) to determine if there was a significant difference in the mean scores between the groups.

The potential benefits of this research were determining if understanding and utilizing learning-style preference strategies would promote positive parental attitudes toward homework assistance and enhance students’ attitudes and academic self-perceptions. The results showed that there was no significant difference between treatment and comparison groups regarding parent and student attitudes or student scholastic competence (p > .025).