Can parents’ homework assigned compensate for disadvantaged students’ learning achievement in Mainland China?


Zhao, Ningning*
Beijing Normal University, China (

Valcke, Martin
Ghent University, Belgium (

Desoete, Annemie
Ghent University, Belgium (

Verhaeghe, Jean Pierre
Ghent University, Belgium (


Homework aims to improve variables and processes related to academic achievement. In China, homework assignments are not only given by teachers, but also by parents and students themselves. In present study we focus on the impact of additional homework developed by parents and learners. The data comes from 10,959 students enrolled in Chinese primary schools. The results reveal that parents and students from disadvantaged families approach homework as a way to compensate for an unprivileged background. Students develop homework assignments depending on the extent to which their parents develop homework. It shows that the learning performance of students improves significantly when their parents with low level jobs assign a moderate level of homework. In contrast, student achievement is significantly lower when their parents with high level jobs don’t assign any homework. Students from disadvantaged families benefit largely from homework involvement. Although there is a certain compensatory impact of homework, educational authorities should provide additional support to students from disadvantaged families.

Keywords: homework; primary school; socioeconomic status



*Corresponding Author