Problem Analysis Paper: Undone Homework
Genevieve Hill, 1999

edited 4/17/14

Initial Statement of the Problem: There is a homework completion problem in Rm. 21 at Widener School.

Q1: What is the situation?
30% of 4th grade students in Rm. 21 at Widener School do not complete their weekly homework assignment..

Q2: Whom does it concern? (3 examples)

1. The teacher in Rm. 21(Genie Hill)

(is concerned)

2. The parents of students not completing homework

(ought to be concerned)

3. The students not completing their homework

(ought to be concerned)

Q3: How do they perceive it? (should be viewed in terms of consensus of agreement on criteria- "the what" and/or consensus of authority- "the how").

First party perception:Teacher

The teacher wants the students to complete their homework so they can practice, reinforce, and enrich what has been learned in the classroom. Sometimes the students need parental help with their homework because of their physical and/or mental needs

Second party perception: Parents

The parents do may not want to put pressure on their children to complete their homework or they may be unsure of strategies that they could use to help children who cannot write complete their homework

Third party perception: Students

The students may not see the importance of completing their homework every night or else they want to do their homework and no one will help them with it


Q4: Why does it concern them? (So What?)

1st party- Teacher

Lack of homework completion is a problem.

So what?

Students are not getting the reinforcement and enrichment they need for their academics.

So what?

The teacher will not be able to cover the required curriculum if parents do not support the children by helping them with their homework.

So what?

If students do not do their homework, they are less likely to do well in school and on standardized tests. If test scores are low, the school will not receive reward money to use for the school and the principal will be upset. The teacher may lose her job.

2nd party- Parents

My child cannot write and it takes too long for him to complete his homework. I do not know how to help him if he cannot write.
So what?

I work 2 jobs and have other kids and I don't have time to help him with his homework.

So what?

My child's physical care (feeding and dressing) takes long enough. Homework is not a priority in my house, day to day survival is.

So what?

I do not understand the homework myself and I feel bad when I cannot help my child.

3rd party- Student Who Does Not Complete Homework

I do not do my homework because I do not understand it and no one helps me with it.

So what?

Even when someone does help me, I do not do my homework because I like to do it in school.

So what?

I like when the teacher helps me with my homework because I get a lot of attention.

Q5: What changes do they propose? (CAN IT FAIL?)
First Party Proposal

The teacher will meet with the student and parent to discuss the importance of homework. The child will receive a reward on Fridays for completion or attempt at completion of homework every night

Second Party Proposal :Parent

No proposal - likes things the way they are or can only handle things the way they are

Third Party Proposal:Student

Will set up a time when a sibling will help with homework every night. Will get special time with teacher every day to check or correct homework


Q6: Can and will anything be done? (Check the powerholders)

First Party__x___ Second Party__x___ Third Party_____

Q7: Who gains and who loses from the change?

Indicate Costs &


First Proposal Second Proposal Third Proposal
First Party Gains- child will improve homework completion Lose- child will not complete homework Gain- child will get some or all of homework done
Second Party Lose- will have to use limited time to help child Gain- will not have to use limited time May Gain- will get teacher off of back and h.w. done
Third Party Gain- will improve academics and get teacher attention Lose- will not get h.w. done and not get positive attention Gain- will get h.w. done and positive teacher attention