Homework in the news

This year we adopted a new homework system. This was the result of a wide variation in the both the expectations and delivery of homework throughout the school. We consulted the student body, parent body and the teaching staff. High on the agenda was evidence towards homework as a positive influence on educational outcomes for children. The results of this have already been published on our blog. You can read them again here.

The impact of our new homework policy and procedures have been very positive. We will review this trial at the commencement of Term 3 with the likely (based on current feedback) result being that the trial will see the new system continue.

Some of the research that supports our actions have been reported recently in the Herald-Sun paper:

Homework pain
Herald Sun, Melbourne  by Elissa Doherty 26 May 2016
General News – page 21 – 341 words – ID 599922877 – Photo: No – Type: News Item – Size: 210.00cm2  
Warning to parents on pressurePARENTS have been warned against pressuring their children to do hours of homework every night as it can do more harm than good, warns one of the nation’s top education academics.

Professor John Hattie from the University of Melbourne makes the call during a documentary, as new research shows 70 per cent of parents believe regular homework at high school is crucial to student success.

The ABC TV show shines a light on the stress students are under to perform, including a student, 12, who toils away at his studies until 11.30pm.

Nayeer, from Kambrya College, says his parents wanted him to be at “the top and not the middle of the class”.

In the warts-and-all documentary filmed at the Berwick South school, Nayeer’s teacher raises concerns with his family that they are putting him under too much stress.

A public attitudes survey commissioned for the co-produced ABC-CJZ series, called Revolution School, found 55 per cent of parents felt strict enforcement of homework improved academic results.

But Prof Hattie said it could actually have the opposite effect.

“The involvement of parents maintaining and making sure the kids do their homework sometimes can be negative,” Prof Hattie says on the show, which starts on Tuesday.

“The biggest effect parents can have is on their sense of encouragement and expectation for the students.” His research has found that five to 10 minutes of homework can be just as important as one to two hours.

The internationally renowned expert helped turn around student results at the school after it ranked in the bottom 10 per cent in Victoria for year 12 in 2008.

Victoria Association of State Secondary Schools president Judy Crowe said parents often wrongly believed more hours of homework was better.

“The emphasis on the number of hours can be a waste of time and counter-productive,” she said.

“For kids to be healthy they need to engage in a range of activities beyond school.” The four-part series was filmed over the 2015 school year.

elissa.doherty@news.com.au @ElissaDoherty

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