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Media Advisory

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

October 3, 2003
To: Education reporters, Editors, Producers
Fr: Amy Cowles | 410-516-7160 | amycowles@jhu.edu
Re: Education researcher Joyce Epstein responds to homework studies

Research by Joyce Epstein, director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University, corroborates reports released Oct. 1, by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and the RAND Corporation, stating that American students typically spend less than an hour a day doing homework.

"Most students are not overwhelmed by homework," Epstein says. "Also, most studies indicate that students who complete their homework do better in school than similar students who do not do their assignments."

Rather than giving students more homework, educators should focus on giving more meaningful homework assignments, Epstein says.

"The main new issue underlying homework is not about time spent on homework, but about its purpose and design," Epstein says. "Teachers and curriculum leaders need to focus on the different purposes that can be served by well-designed homework assignments and to design homework so that students can experience purposeful work ... By focusing on design, teachers can make homework a more productive process for students and a more enjoyable experience for students and parents."

Contact Epstein at 410-516-8807 or jepstein@csos.jhu.edu. The National Network of Partnership Schools, www.partnershipschools.org and click on the TIPS section for advice on homework for teachers and parents.

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