Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Heather Schugar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pauline Schmidt, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heidi Capetola, Ed.D.


Despite homework being a daily task for most students, research on its effectiveness in helping students achieve more success is inconsistent. Many school districts across the country recognize the controversies that exist within homework practices, and some of these districts have created homework policies to assuage concerns for the amount of homework students are doing. One aspect that makes homework research so complex is the number of variables involved. This study examines one of these variables: teacher philosophy – and examines how it contributes to English practices and perceptions in one Mid-Atlantic high school. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as well as the tenets of constructivism to highlight the potential divide between teacher perceptions of homework practices and the realistic student experience of homework practices, this study focuses on the factors that guide teachers in constructing homework.

This mixed-method study established individual educational philosophies of eight high school English teacher participants. Then, each participant’s homework journal and aligning homework artifacts, were examined to document homework practices across three weeks. Finally, these English teachers each participated in an interview about homework practices and perceptions.

The following themes emerged from the data: (1) All 8 teachers had some misalignments with their philosophies and practices, (2) most assignments that teachers assigned were behavioral in nature, and (3) time and curriculum restraints held teachers back from creating constructivist homework assignments.