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Doing homework 'can have a positive effect on students' personalities'

30/10/2017 Joanna

Doing homework can have a positive impact on students' personal development, according to new research.

A study conducted by the University of Tubingen has indicated that students who do more homework than their peers show positive changes in their overall conscientiousness, suggesting that these tasks can have benefits beyond academic attainment.

For this research, 2,760 students from Germany were followed over three years, answering questions about how many of their homework assignments they were doing to the best of their ability, and whether they would describe themselves as tidy or messy and negligent. Parents were also asked to assess their children's conscientiousness as part of the study.

It was shown that students who put a lot of effort into their homework generally became more conscientious, an effect that helped to counterbalance the temporary dip in conscientiousness that previous studies have shown children generally undergo during their late childhood and early adolescence.

By contrast, a substantial decrease in conscientiousness was seen among students who reported making no real effort with their homework, with these findings reinforced by the opinions of their parents.

Ulrich Trautwein, director of the Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology, said: "The question whether doing your homework can also influence the development of conscientiousness has been mostly neglected in previous discussions of the role of homework.

"We need to define more precisely what expectations we have of the potential of homework and how those expectations can be fulfilled."

Given that previous research has shown that the effort put into homework can consistently be correlated to the results students are likely to achieve, these findings underline the importance of making sure students are properly motivated to work hard outside of the classroom.

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