A new research at the University of Michigan has pointed out that children will show more interest in doing their homework if they see it as an investment, and not a task to be finished.
The researchers worked with a group of 295 students and their teachers in science classrooms.
The students answered questions about how they planned to spend their time that evening, and students marked how much time they would spend on homework or studying among other activities such as sports, music, or online activities. After the researchers left the classroom, teachers assigned students an extra-credit assignment relevant to current class material.
Children who saw how adult earnings were related to education were eight times more likely to do the extra credit homework as those who saw the presentation showing adult earnings independent of amount of education.
Taken together, these studies show that a small but powerful intervention showing how much education matters is likely to have a major effect on the likelihood that children will spend time on schoolwork. They are more likely to be seen as an investment in their futures, not a chore that interferes with their lives.
"Our results also inform an ongoing debate about the academic value of athletic participation for low-income and minority youth. Despite apparent benefits for academic achievement and outcomes for more privileged youth, national survey data do not show that athletic participation has positive effects for urban and minority youth, or female and rural Latino youth. Our results agree with these data."
"We find that very subtle cues can influence academic performance. Failing to see connections between adult identities and current actions puts children at risk of low effort in school. And waiting until low-income and minority children are in high school to make these connections increases the chance they'll already be too far behind to make it to college."
The study is published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.