On the other side of the debate: ‘For those opposed to homework, many feel that it creates unnecessary pressure on students for limited or disputed academic benefit, robs children of time to develop other life skills, through recreational and artistic activities and social interaction, and places pressure on family life,’ the report says.
Walker, of the University of Sydney, told one of the public hearings that research on homework tends to focus on three things: student learning and achievement; the development of student learning skills; and parental involvement.
Queensland education department guidelines in 2012 suggest: no homework for Prep students and weekly limits of one hour for Years 1 to 3; two to three hours for Years 4 and 5; three to four hours for Years 6 and 7; and no more than five hours a week for Years 8 and 9.
For Years 10 to 12 it says hours will vary according to individual learning needs.
That hasn’t stopped some Australian education departments from making recommendations on the 'optimum' amount of homework.
Victorian DEECD guidelines (2012) indicate no more than 30 minutes per day and no homework during weekends or holidays for Prep to Year 4; 30 to 45 minutes per day in Year 5 extending to 45 to 90 minutes by Year 9; one to three hours per night for Year 10 to 12, plus six hours on weekends during peak VCE periods.for a practice as solidly entrenched as homework, the scholarly case on its behalf is surprisingly weak and even contradictory.’ Timely feedback The inquiry report does highlight research (Cooper, 2007) showing that students are more likely to complete homework if they know teachers are keeping track of their progress and giving feedback on errors and areas for improvement.Walker told the committee that's not an easy task.Researchers Ozkan Eren and Daniel J Henderson found assigning homework in subjects like Science, English and History has little to no impact on test scores. As the inquiry report committee concludes: ‘Until a causal relationship between homework and academic achievement and personal development is established in studies in Australia, based on Australian educational and cultural structures, this argument is likely to remain unresolved and will continue to be one of perception.’ Findings from the Victorian inquiry Homework – an eight letter word likely to spark an immediate and impassioned response. We've handed it in on time, late, or not at all (sometimes offering up creative and amusing excuses into the bargain).Researchers Ozkan Eren and Daniel J Henderson found assigning homework in subjects like Science, English and History has little to no impact on test scores. As the inquiry report committee concludes: ‘Until a causal relationship between homework and academic achievement and personal development is established in studies in Australia, based on Australian educational and cultural structures, this argument is likely to remain unresolved and will continue to be one of perception.’ Findings from the Victorian inquiry How is homework improving outcomes for your students? Research shows timely feedback is an important part of the process - how and when do you provide feedback to students on homework tasks?' Providing every student with targeted feedback about their homework is very difficult for teachers, so it often falls between the cracks.' Professor John Hattie, of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, has famously calculated the 'effect-size' of more than 100 education innovations.He recently told the BBC that homework in primary school has an effect-size of around zero 'which is why we need to get it right, not why we need to get rid of it...' He added homework does make a bigger difference in secondary school, mainly because the tasks are often about reinforcing and giving students another chance to practice what they've learnt.Not everyone works at the same pace and has access to the same resources and support network.On the question of quality, Hattie is urging schools to think about outcomes.' The debate about the effectiveness of homework as a tool of learning has continued for more than a century.There have been more than 130 studies published related to the subject and these have reached different and, at times, quite contradictory conclusions,' a report from the Inquiry into the approaches to homework in Victorian schools points out.