VALUABLE ASSET: Thrilled at the idea of less homework are Year 5 St Carthage’s students back from left Georgia Rhodes, Kailani Tiernan and Jemma Buckley and front from left Monique Gapes, Sapphire Gibson and Max Condon-Hunnisett.
VALUABLE ASSET: Thrilled at the idea of less homework are Year 5 St Carthage’s students back from left Georgia Rhodes, Kailani Tiernan and Jemma Buckley and front from left Monique Gapes, Sapphire Gibson and Max Condon-Hunnisett. Jacklyn Wagner

Homework revolution

KIDS - and possibly some parents - here is the news you have been waiting for.

Research has shown too much homework for primary school children up to the age of 11 could be a bad thing.

Reforming Homework: Practices, Learning and Policies, written by Professor Mike Horsley from Central Queensland University and Associate Professor Richard Walker from Sydney University analyses research on homework from around the world.

The book urges teachers to re-evaluate how much homework children get.

Prof Walker said the book didn't call for a ban on homework for students up to 11. He said homework needed to be better planned by teachers and of a higher quality to benefit students.

On the academic website The Conversation, Prof Walker wrote the following broad conclusions could be drawn from the research:

"In terms of academic achievement, homework has no benefit for children in the early years of primary school, negligible benefits for children in the later years of primary school, weak benefits for junior high school students and reasonable benefits for senior high school students.

"Overall, there should be less homework, especially homework that emphasises drill and practice.

"In particular, homework needs to be planned around the community's and family's fund of knowledge, which may be different from what the curriculum is based on."

The mother of one of the children in our photo above said her child was 'super excited' at the idea of less homework.

An education department spokesman said each NSW public school developed its own homework policy in consultation with the local school community and the needs of the students.

"Homework is valuable, because it allows students to practise, extend and consolidate work done in class," the spokesman said.

"Homework also sets habits of study, concentration and self-discipline, which help students after their school years."



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