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Homework

I am amazed at the vast difference in opinion regarding homework. Just in the last couple of days, I have heard a news story stating that homework is irrelevant to the 21st century and read a newspaper article stating that two hours of homework each night is beneficial to students. Click here for a previous post I have written about homework.

Isn’t there a happy medium?

In a discussion between @keelygriffiths and @M_Carreiro and myself (@ashleyazzopardi) we agreed that homework is relevant to the 21st century if it;

  • Revises concepts learnt in class
  • Builds on existing knowledge
  • Integrates ICT
  • Promotes inquiry learning
  • Includes open ended questions

Click here for a Prezi I have created in a previous post regarding learning in the 21st century.

I have seen many schools with the following recommendations for the maximum time spent on homework each night (including reading):

  • Kindergarten and Year One: 15 minutes
  • Year Two: 20 minutes
  • Year Three: 30 minutes
  • Year Four: 40 minutes
  • Year Five and Year Six: 60-90 minutes

What are your thoughts about homework?

Does your school have a homework policy?

photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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6 thoughts on “Homework

  1. Hi Ashley,

    I have a different approach to it:

    Why not giving kids and learners the opportunity as HW (Home Work) to use the #SoMe (Social Medias) to make #curation of a special Topic told at class? In that case they will feel FREE (they would love to be free… / motivation / engaging…) and motivated as they would not be forced to follow a certain way… + engaging http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching?tag=Engage-ME! They wouldn’t need to get told top spend that much time on Internet for HW, they would even make more and really learning!

    But they need to get told the dangers of Internet, what to believe and what not—> teachers responsibility!

    With that approach You will be on a win-win situation:

    – Your learners will learn with pleasure and You don’t have even to tell them further what to do, the engine is running, You give them the fuel for the motor to run 😉

    Check out also my #curation about #education + #itsecurity + Onlinesafety #Internetsafety here please:

    http://www.scoop.it/webwizard

    where You will find all the necessary pedagogical stuff for preparing BEST your courses…

    BTW: I was got awarded for my #curation of #education + #itsecurity + #cybersecurity as Lord Of Curation

    http://blog.scoop.it/en/2011/11/30/lord-of-curation-series-gust-mees/

    My FREE courses about #itsecurity here if You want to learn about it and also teaching your learners about it:

    http://gustmeesen.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/why-ict-security-why-the-need-to-secure-a-computer/

    PS: Feedback and questions are welcome 😉

    Have a nice day and best regards,
    Gust

    Like

    1. I love the idea of including social media as homework. In a previous post about homework, I provided the idea of a homework grid. In the grid there could be activities pertaining to social media. For example answering a question on the class twitter or the class blog.

      Dangers of the internet definitely need to be addressed by teachers.

      Thanks for sharing some great ideas, Gus.

      Ashley

      Like

  2. Hi Ashley,

    Here’s another article for you to read on homework:
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/heres-the-real-truth-on-homework/story-e6freuzi-1226311860123

    I was just talking with a friend about this last week. Her daughter goes to an exclusive private school in Perth and homework has become like a competition between the parents. This other mother was telling my friend how she had to race home to finish her daughter’s homework…..My friend said to her, “You do realise that the teacher knows that it’s not your daughter doing the homework”. Of course this mother didn’t believe her 🙂

    I must admit I have never been a real ‘fan’ of homework. In my early days of teaching I would set homework because it was what parents expected and wanted. As I became more confident I had the courage to not set ‘official’ homework. Honestly, I did not really see the benefit. However, the one thing I strongly encouraged parents to do with their children was to read every day.

    Like

    1. Hi Melinda,

      Thanks for the link to that article. It is such an interesting topic!
      I can’t believe that it is a competition between the parents – that entirely defeats the purpose of homework. It is so dissapointing that parents would behave that way – what are they teaching their children?

      I think you make an important point – homework should only be set if it is beneficial to the students, if it isn’t, then it is pointless.

      Teachers should either make the decision to provide relevant and useful homework that is beneficial to the students or to not provide homework at all.

      I definitely agree that reading is very important and should be encouraged at every year level.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Melinda, I really appreciate your perspective.

      Ashley

      Like

  3. Hi Ashley,

    I think it’s inspiring that a pre-service teacher is already so engaged in the education community.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t’ need to “set homework” at all? I think it would be so much better if we were able to use class time to inspire such a love of learning that our students go home and simply continue to learn, perhaps using resources we have suggested to them or perhaps by engaging with a community of other learners online.

    Look at us! When we write and read blogs about education, at home, we are learning… but is this work? I guess it is – but it’s not “set homework”. We do this because we are enthusiastic about pedagogy and so we don’t want to stop when we go home! That’s how I want my students to feel about learning. I want to see them working at home. But not because I have told them they have to but because learning is something that brings them joy.

    If you are doing something you love, something meaningful, something exciting – it it’s a form of leisure.

    The real trick is to make our classes so exciting, meaningful and lovely that our students go home and continue working, without us having to “set” anything.

    Yeah – I’m an idealist.

    Like

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your encouragement!

      Wow, that is an amazing thought! I guess that is our ultimate goal. You’re completely right, I would love it if my future students went home and continued to learn and felt as motivated as I do when I am blogging, tweeting etc.

      Creating learning as a form of leisure is a brilliant way of looking at it. I love how you put that ‘..our classes so exciting, meaningful and lovely…’ I’m adopting that as a goal to constantly work towards!

      It may be idealistic, but definitely something we should all be aiming for.

      Thanks for such an inspiring comment.

      Ashley

      Like

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