WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF HOMEWORK?
In the March 2018 article in Education Leadership, Jenni Donohoo, John Hattie and Rachel Eells showed the effect size of the different influences of learning.
Collective teacher efficacy
It is incomprehensible that schools in 2021 continue with a practice proven to have the lowest effect size on learning. Homework after a long school day is nothing short of ridiculous.
Homework confuses completion with understanding.
Getting the job done after six hours of intensive schooling and a long afternoon of extra-murals is not about understanding or thinking. It is about completion. Homework is checked to see if it has been completed. The focus is on completion, not understanding.
The argument that Homework will develop a good work ethic is often used. Developing a good work ethic is a wonderful attribute, but it is almost impossible to list it as a measurable learning influence. We accept that practice makes permanent and Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers (2008) argues convincingly that if we spend 10 000 hours on any given task we will become proficient at it.
But, practice will only make permanent if we do it right with a master coach alongside us. Many students are doing homework on their own in order to complete the task. Most parents are often too busy or too distracted to be “the teacher”!
After all, parents send their children to school to be taught.
For this very reason, the Melkbosstrand Private Primary School, Grade 1-7, has moved away from traditional Homework and embarked on a new programme called Active Readers.
1) BE ACTIVE
Spend your afternoons playing, surfing, chilling, being with friends, walking on the beach, skateboarding, riding your bicycle, enjoying sport.
2) BE A READER
Spend at least 20 minutes a day reading a book
5 days a week - in your home language
2 days a week - in your first additional language
The school leadership has partnered with the students. They read and the Leadership will make sure that no teacher assigns homework.
It’s a deal!
THIS PROGRAMME HAS 2 DIMENSIONS: