Is it a waste of time?
That question is often asked. You only have to Google the question and you will come up with millions of hits on either side of the debate.
Our view seeks to take the middle ground and answers the question thus : if you place value on homework, then it has value.
Homework has the potential to be a source of tension at home. If that has become the case in your household, we would encourage you to review it. In my view, and it is only my view, the sole purpose of homework is to build my children's self-belief that they are capable learners. - Paul Petersen - Principal.
Homework is a chance for your child to share what they can do; and it's an opportunity for you to praise them for the effort they make. It should be a valuable relationship building time. It should be tension free, filled with positive genuine praise; and it should be a celebration of effort and learning.
If you are experiencing any challenges around homework, please see the classroom teacher sooner rather than later. A parent who gushes enthusiasm at homework time is sending a very important message to their child about the value they place on learning.
The converse also holds true.
The school's dilemma:
We teach a wide range of students - with different backgrounds and different parent expectations of homework. Some households find homework to be a delightful process, where the family has the time to engage in learning together and to delight in challenge, discussion, debate and to build common learning values.
Others find it a painful process, fraught with tension, tantrum and tears. Others are simply time poor and unable to schedule it in to their busy lives.
Where does that leave the teacher? At Bombay, the teacher will set a mid-range of activities based on Numeracy, literacy and Inquiry. For students who require more challenge - we recommend that they complete self pacing Mathletics activities or Reading Eggs Activities.
Does homework result in better achievement?
Professor John Hattie (NZ), ranks homework 95th out of 150 factors that influence student achievement. He rates its effect size as 0.29. By contrast self-reported grades/ student expectations scores the highest effect size of 1.44.
A Study of 18,000 schoolchildren finds 'no relationship' between working hard at home and better results.University of Virginia looked at data for tenth grade students across U.S. Findings show homework assignments didn't translate into better grades Authors suggest more research on form and function of assignments
Waste of time? A study by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, found more homework assignments didn't translate into better grades
It found homework doesn't necessarily help children to get better grades. ,
Researchers from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, U.S., looked at transcripts and data for more than 18,000 tenth grade students nationwide. Their findings show more homework assignments didn't translate into better grades.
Co-author Robert Tai, associate professor of science education at the university's Curry School of Education, said: 'The more time students spend on homework, it's not clear that they are getting better results.
'What we are concerned with is that homework is just being assigned rather than being used to integrate what's going on in the classroom.'
The study looked at transcripts and data for more than 18,000 tenth grade students nationwide
'When it comes to math, what we found is that there is a bit of a sweet spot,' Prof Tai said.
'Students that were spending about a half an hour on math homework were reporting that their grades and test scores were actually better.'
Prof Tai says the study is a wake up call for educators.
'Teachers need to be much more clear about why they are assigning homework and what the homework is for,' he said.
'If teachers aren't really incorporating homework into their teaching, it's unclear there is any type of benefit at all and it actually may end up hurting students.'
The study points to factors like class participation and attendance as better indicators of students performance.
In conclusion, the authors suggest more research be done on the form and function of homework assignments. 'In today's current educational environment, with all the activities taking up children's time both in school and out of school, the purpose of each homework assignment must be clear and targeted,' Prof Tai said. 'With homework, more is not better.'
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