Levels of Development and Homework

One thing teachers and parents continually struggle with is getting students to do their homework. But if you review the Levels of Development, you actually have a nice framework for encouraging students to do their homework. Think of it as a “Homework Hierarchy,” which may assist in more students completing home assignments.

Using the Levels of Development for homework may encourage personal reflection and create a desire to put forth more effort. Therefore, guide your students to quickly create such a hierarchy. There’s no need to write it down. Just do it orally. Here’s an example.

LEVEL D – Motivation for doing homework is internal.

  • Completes home tasks and is proud of its quality
  • Starts assignments without adult reminders
  • Returns homework on time
  • Thinks about how this task connects to other learning

LEVEL C – Motivation for doing homework is external.

  • Completes work for adult approval
  • Relies on an adult to give reminders about doing home tasks

LEVEL B/A – Unacceptable behavior levels.

  • Does a messy, careless or incomplete job, or doesn’t do the work assigned

For teachers: First, as you assign home tasks each day, you might quickly discuss the benefits of operating on the highest two levels. Then, prompt students to reflect on their feelings as they evaluate their own performance from previous days. Finally, be sure to highlight the fact that greater personal satisfaction results from motivation at Level D.

For teachers and parents: First, have students look at their own homework and silently reflect on their own chosen level of motivation. Additionally, have them set a goal for the next assignment, challenging them to improve if they aren’t satisfied with their current chosen level. Finally, explain that there is always a new opportunity to do better the very next time a home task is assigned.

Tip: Homework need not be a battle. Use the Levels of Development to encourage motivation in all areas of life, including homework.


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