The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain a better understanding of third grade math teachers' beliefs and practices regarding homework, to explain how teachers' beliefs and practices regarding homework aligned to the framework of the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy Cognitive Domain, and to determine the administrative influences on homework practices. The data were collected during October and November 2013. Six third grade math teachers (primary unit of analysis) and four principals (secondary unit of analysis) were interviewed from Dell School District. Each participant (teacher and principal) was interviewed for approximately one hour. A second meeting was set at a later time with the teachers. This second meeting was arranged in order to ask additional questions based on the interviewees' responses from the initial interview and also to collect homework samples. The follow-up meetings varied between 10 to 15 minutes. The interview transcripts were then transcribed. The data were analyzed to determine the themes: teachers' beliefs and practices of homework, alignment of homework items to the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy, and administrative influences on homework.
Three major themes emerged regarding teachers' beliefs about homework—extra repetition of practice, connection between home and school, and building responsibility. Four major themes related to teachers' homework practices were found— quantity of homework, type of homework, source of homework, and differentiation of homework. Overall, the majority of homework items, across all cognitive domain levels, were aligned to a low category (remembering, 68%); however, there were some variations among the distributions of homework. In comparing what teachers espoused about homework practices and what was actually assigned, the majority were aligned. Four major themes emerged from the principals' comments—school-wide expectations for homework, complaints about homework, principals' beliefs and value about homework, and cognitive domain of homework. The four major findings of the study included: homework was used primarily for low-level practice, more so than high-level thinking; teachers' homework practices were not part of the principals' leadership agenda, because principals took a “hands-off approach” to homework; teachers assigned low-level homework with little attention to Bloom's Taxonomy cognitive domain, because this allowed students to be successful and responsible for completing their homework and; homework was a lost art, because principals did not utilize the opportunity to talk with teachers about using homework more effectively to promote students' learning; therefore, teachers continued implementing their same homework practices from the past.
|Commitee:||Martin, Larry, Swaminathan, Raji, Wallace, Leigh E.|
|School:||The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee|
|School Location:||United States -- Wisconsin|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mathematics, Educational leadership, Elementary education|
|Keywords:||Bloom's taxonomy, Cognitive domain, Homework, Mathematics, Revised bloom's taxonomy, Teachers' beliefs|
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