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for a practice as solidly entrenched as homework, the scholarly case on its behalf is surprisingly weak and even contradictory.’ Timely feedback The inquiry report does highlight research (Cooper, 2007) showing that students are more likely to complete homework if they know teachers are keeping track of their progress and giving feedback on errors and areas for improvement.
He told the committee that education departments shouldn’t encourage schools to adopt a set policy.
' Rather than prescribing a particular way of doing it, let us ask them to provide evidence that the homework policy the school is adopting is improving the outcomes for kids.' Discussing whether or not homework has more of an impact according to the subject area, the academic says it does have more influence in maths, again because often tasks set for this subject are about ‘deliberate practice’ of things learnt in class as opposed to a ‘project’.
After conducting its own literature review, receiving 32 submissions and hearing from 16 expert witnesses during three days of public hearings, the inquiry committee had this to say: ' It is not possible from the available data to make unequivocal statements about the effectiveness of homework overall in assisting student learning.’ It does, however, want the state education department to support schools and teachers in this area by explaining current research. Most of the studies deal with the United States and Europe.
Supporters of homework argue it not only has academic benefits, but also helps youngsters develop important study and time management skills, and gives parents a chance to engage in their child’s learning.
That hasn’t stopped some Australian education departments from making recommendations on the 'optimum' amount of homework.
Victorian DEECD guidelines (2012) indicate no more than 30 minutes per day and no homework during weekends or holidays for Prep to Year 4; 30 to 45 minutes per day in Year 5 extending to 45 to 90 minutes by Year 9; one to three hours per night for Year 10 to 12, plus six hours on weekends during peak VCE periods.' The debate about the effectiveness of homework as a tool of learning has continued for more than a century.There have been more than 130 studies published related to the subject and these have reached different and, at times, quite contradictory conclusions,' a report from the Inquiry into the approaches to homework in Victorian schools points out.He also gets to see that there is a connection between school and home and that we are interested in what he’s doing. Many of the parents at our school have English as a second language and struggle to meet this weekly requirement.If their child is struggling they are not always able to assist, or to recognise the issue.Visit the Victorian Parliament website to access the inquiry committee's full report.How is homework improving outcomes for your students? Research shows timely feedback is an important part of the process - how and when do you provide feedback to students on homework tasks?Homework as practice seems appropriate in the early years - my grade 1 child brings a reader home Mon-Thur.He gets practice reading, I get to see his progression.The remaining state and territory education departments all have homework policies but do not make recommendations on hours.Even if you look beyond the fact that guidelines on ‘optimum hours’ aren’t backed by research advice, suggesting set times - as the inquiry committee points out - is about the quantity of work set, rather than the quality.