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All Work and No Play

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A prominent English school is radically cutting the amount of homework assigned to students, the BBC reports. The Tiffin Boy’s School in southwest London was piling on up to four hours of homework a night, but a new rule caps out-of-class work at 40 minutes.

“The more we looked at what was being set, it came over as quite mechanistic and repetitive,” Head Teacher Sean Heslop explained to the news service. “We thought, if there’s one way to put students off learning, that’s the way to do it.”

While some groups, like prominent English educators’ union the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, have called for an end to homework in primary schools, some research suggests that homework is good for students—in moderation. Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology at Duke University, has conducted research showing a positive correlation between homework and achievement.

“The bottom line really is all kids should be doing homework, but the amount and type should vary according to their developmental level and home circumstances,” Cooper said in a Duke press release. “Homework for young students should be short, lead to success without much struggle, occasionally involve parents and, when possible, use out-of-school activities that kids enjoy, such as their sports teams or high-interest reading.”

2 Comments

Jeff,
I've given the topic of homework lots of thought and think that the amount of homework a student should do depends on who the student is. As for the positive correlation of doing homework and achievement, I've seen lots of students who do well and not do homework and lots of students who do poorly and do homework. Go figure!

If you are really interested in the issue of homework, I invite you to come to read my thoughts on the whole homework issue which are based on research and experience.

Banning homework http://tinyurl.com
/5rhdu2

Differentiating homework http://tinyurl.com/54xf4d

Thinking outside the box about homework
http://tinyurl.com/5t3ct4


What is the point of homework?

Correlation does not equal cause and effect. It seems obvious that kids that do well in school will also do well on homework, while those who struggle in school will struggle on homework.

WHAT is the benefit of homework?

“The bottom line really is all kids should be doing homework..."

Why?

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