Homework is the bane of many people’s lives.
So why do we bother? Let’s have a look.
Homework or No Homework
Most schools require teachers to set HW. But is it a good idea?
The Case Against
Students have worked all day and often want to other things after school. Their families would also like to spend time with them. But instead, they are frequently called to play the role of enforcer – ensuring that their children’s homework is done.
The Case For
Practicing and reviewing past work is a powerful way to enhance learning. And, reviews of research show that it has a positive effect on students’ learning. However, the impact is moderate. And the impact is smaller for younger students.
Types of Homework: They Are Not All Equal
Homework includes any tasks that you give your students that they must do beyond normal school hours. Some common types of homework:
However, not all of these tasks are equal.
It is helpful to think about HW the same way you think about prescribed medication or a dietary supplement. Take too little of it and it won’t have any effect at all. Take too much and it can kill you.
Professor Harris Cooper (a leading researcher on HW)
The HW Infographic
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How to Make It All Worthwhile
Homework helps kids do better at school. The impact increases steadily as students get older, but it exists for all students. Therefore homework:
Does homework affect academic achievement?
Homework is likely to have a positive impact on students’ academic achievement. It has a positive effect on students of all ages. But the result is small for younger students and moderate for older students.
How much homework should I set?
The impact of homework increases as students get older, and the amount of homework should increase the same way. Homework for F-1 students should take no more than 10 minutes. Then, from Year 2 onwards, it should be the students year level multiplied by 10 minutes. For example, you would set Year 5 students no more than 50 minutes homework.
Shaun Killian is an experienced teacher and principal with a passion for helping students to excel. He believes that assisting teachers to adopt evidence-based education is the best way to make this happen. Shaun is committed to bringing you practical advice based on solid research.