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In the Stanford study, many students said that they often did homework they saw as "pointless" or "mindless." Pope, who co-authored that study, argued that homework assignments should have a purpose and benefit, and should be designed to cultivate learning and development.
The researchers expressed concern that students at high-pressure high schools can get burned out before they even get to college.
“School, homework, extracurricular activities, sleep, repeat — that’s what it can be for some of these students,” said Noelle Leonard, Ph D, a senior research scientist at the New York University College of Nursing, and lead study author, in a press release.
The research involved a series of interviews with students, teachers, and administrators, as well as a survey of a total of 128 juniors from two private high schools.
About half of the students said they received at least three hours of homework per night.
When it came to stress, more than 70 percent of students said they were “often or always stressed over schoolwork,” with 56 percent listing homework as a primary stressor.
Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.
The researchers also found that spending too much time on homework meant that students were not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills.
Students were more likely to forgo activities, stop seeing friends or family, and not participate in hobbies.
Research suggests that when students are pushed to handle a workload that’s out of sync with their development level, it can lead to significant stress — for children and their parents.
Both the National Education Association (NEA) and the National PTA (NPTA) support a standard of “10 minutes of homework per grade level” and setting a general limit on after-school studying.