Through our research we used scientific method, as it is the most reliable way to collect data and implement experimental studies to reinforce received results. Scientific method makes assumptions regarding consequences of the project or research and attempts to predict future results and impact on a target group. One of the major elements that defines scientific method as the trustworthiest is its objective by means of which it becomes possible to investigate the process or phenomenon and establish goal-seeking behavior during the research.
During our study several approaches have been reviewed and implemented to prove the efficiency of the research. Scientific method is to great extent employed in various spheres of human activity and typically comprises five stages such as • Examination – when the target group is being closely observed. During this stage most pronounced characteristic features of the object or phenomenon are revealed. • Explanation – when the prototype system is described in smallest details with all necessary comments on the topic.
• Calculation – when data from previous studies and experiments are collected in order to predict future consequences of the research • Maintenance – when all the investigated systems and structural units of the target group or prototype system are being operated and kept under strict control. • Error – the research assumes a certain amount of mistakes that need to be corrected. Regardless of indicated above advantages of the scientific method, it is important to take into account certain limitations it may include.
Thus, for example, due to the fact that scientific method is based on various findings, conclusions, and scholarly studies, some of them may not always be relevant or based on appropriate innate circumstances. The paper handles the issue concerning 4th and 6th graders while other research included in the method may in this case not always deal with this age group but rather with graduates or students with learning disabilities, etc.
For our research we have selected 4th and 6th graders from the urban area that tend to spend less time on homework completion than those living in the country. We have chosen small middle school which helped us better understand the process of teaching and studying as by the example of educational establishment of smaller size we had a chance to take a closer look at school and homework completion policies in particular. Our selection process included the following stages: • Reviewing the list of all local middle schools that could facilitate our project
• Choosing the middle school with small number of students (250 people) • Having conversation with the school principal asking him for permission and supplementary data on a certain group of students (53 people) • Visiting two classes of the 4th and the 6th grades • Drawing conclusion regarding gender, social status, and race based on provided materials and personal observation. To ensure ethical research practice several steps have been made concerning students’ security, protection, and information confidentiality.
To make sure nobody was insulted or injured throughout the research, no additional equipment was included except for the laptop to record, collect, and analyze data. As the aim of our project is to investigate the link between homework completion and overall student’s achievement, it is important to take into account the fact that there are three issues to be implemented during the class or any other type of trainings aimed at increasing the level of interest and concentration among the students so they will be enticed to do their home assignments consistently (Palladino 1999):
o Motivation: the teacher should emphasize the importance of the activity, which will influence their final grade or give them some additional points, bonuses or out-of-schedule favorite activities or time outside the class. o Psychological pauses. Owing to the brain being so overloaded with information and accomplishing mentally complicated tasks associated with sight, memory, and analyzing during the process of concentration, students have to periodically stand up, walk back and forth, sing, etc. o Proper studying process organization.
The supervisor should set up an activity that will gradually get more difficult stages supposing the ability of students to analyze and use previously learned material. As the paper deals with the 4th and 6th graders we have to keep in mind that regardless of the significant impact homework has on student of all age groups, our target group has its certain specific characteristics regarding homework. For instance, serving as a mean or method for in-depth study of a subject and knowledge reinforcement and supplement for seniors and college students, homework completion plays absolutely different role in everyday life of our research group.
It should be assigned homework in order to form good learning skills and enhance personal characteristics such as responsibility, ability to meet deadlines, hardworking, reliability, etc. Doing their homework assignments students learn how to cope with difficulties and work under pressure. (Strichart & Mangrum, 2001). A significant number of scientists believe that teachers must ensure feedback on students’ homework as it to great extent increases the level of their achievement. However, the most efficient way for a student to reinforce knowledge the homework includes is to have the teacher comment on the accomplished work.
Mastery requires focused practice over days or weeks. After only four practice sessions students reach a halfway point to mastery. It takes more than 24 more practice sessions before students reach 80 percent mastery. And this practice must occur over a span of days or weeks, and cannot be rushed (Anderson, 1995). ? How to make homework more meaningful for students? Psychologists reject the view that the level of intellectual achievement depends primarily on the degree of innate intelligence – that it is the psychologist’s job to measure this accurately and the teacher’s task to see that each child reaches his natural level.
(Anderson & Corbett 1995). On the contrary, it is stressed that education is the chief formative influence in the child’s mental development and that all normal children are capable of profiting from a full education course of the kind necessary to prepare them for social life. It follows that failure to achieve good results is primarily due to faulty upbringing at home and educational neglect at school; hence the great emphasis is laid on educational methods.
But sound educational methods depend on knowledge of child psychology, in this case a correct appreciation of the causes, which underlie the failure of particular children to profit from the education given in school. By diagnosing specific individual difficulties and, in the light of this, making a special approach, children can be taught the necessary techniques of learning, helped to form a positive attitude to school work, assisted to recognize their own weaknesses and to adopt methods of overcoming them.