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Homework and authentic learning

Started by Tessa Gray 07 Sep 2012 1:07pm () Replies (10)

I've often heard parents talk about the onerous task of 'doing homework' - like it was a task designed for them, rather than their kids. Does 'new ways of designing curriculum', mean we should be thinking about 'new ways to assign homework tasks'?

How would you see the concept of the ‘flipped classroom’ working for you? Have you ever tried to invert your instruction methods for homework? Have you asked students to reference digital resources, such as videos, tutorials or websites (Studyladder)? Or is it too hard when not all students have access to the Internet at home?

Do you have a model of a flipped classroom to share?



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  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 07 Sep 2012 2:45pm ()

    I think I've posted before but here are my views on homework and the way I like to do homework in my class.


    Ticks all my boxes so the driven children and helicopter parents can do as much as they like and those with other things to do with their time can feel part of it as well.

    Student choice/ student voice

  • Katarina Moore (View all users posts) 12 Feb 2013 10:14pm ()

    Hi Allanah,

    Would love to see your approach but get the message 

    "Oops! Google Chrome could not find allanahk.edublogs.org" when I go to your link.



  • Barbara Reid (View all users posts) 07 Sep 2012 3:25pm ()

    Some schools have adopted The Pride Challenges  where students participate at their own level and work towards gaining awards. As Allanah says - student choice / student voice

  • Heather Eccles (View all users posts) 07 Sep 2012 3:40pm ()

    I've been assigning videos from youtube or vimeo for students to watch with guided questions for students to answer.  Students have seven days to complete the homework and the videos introduce content which will be covered the following week. I have experienced a high level of homework completion and added depth to classroom discussion. Giving students a week to complete the homework means they can access school computers if they do not have internet access at home.

    I have have shared the homework page with the class by creating a myPortfolio page but this could easily be replicated by sharing a google doc. The myPortfolio page has also been shared with parents using the secret URL.


  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 07 Sep 2012 3:57pm ()

    I've never been a big fan of homework. A lot of it for me was issues with getting my students to do it; and then the other side of it is that I've seen a lot of pointless homework set. Homework for me must have relevance, and not simply be a time-filler, worksheet type activity. Just like in a classroom lesson, the students need to know the point of doing it. As a parent, I've been supporting my own children with homework quite a bit recently, and found quite often that either they don't know what or how they are supposed to do something, or they don't know why. They don't always understand how it fits in with what they're doing at school.

    I think in a flipped classroom (which I really like the idea of), homework takes on quite a different meaning as it is actually quite definitely preparation for class. It enables students to come to class with at least some prior understanding of what is going on and which they could do at the own pace. Then some quality discussion/projects/whatever can take place in class.

    Not having taught in, or properly seen a flipped classroom in action, I would be concerned for those students who have a lot of extra-curricular activities that go on before and after school. I have taught (secondary) students that train for swimming before school, come to school and then go to dance/music lessons before heading off to work. I wonder if these students would feel disadvantaged in this situation as they don't have the same time to devote to 'homework'/preparation.

    Oops, this post ended up a bit longer than I intended. The key point for me is that whatever homework is or whatever it looks like it needs to fit in to the bigger picture.

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2012 9:12am ()

    Here is another thought provoking approach to homework. 

    Healthy Homework Guidelines: A New Vision for Homework.

    End the race to nowhere sets a challenge of creating healthy homework for students.

    more information and articles are available here

  • Valay Raman (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2012 10:02am ()

    According to research homework has very little effect on learning at elementary school. Its effect is much more significant in high school. Effect size = 0.15 (Elementary schools); 0.64 (High schools).

    Therefore it is not a case of homework or no homework. Homework needs to be well planned and well thought off by the teacher. The purpose needs to be understood by both the child and the parents. Children must be intrinsically motivated to do their homework.

    I have seen my child get tons of homework from teacher/s who may have had a bad week. My son views this as punishment. I have to help him complete hours and hours of work to avoid detention. This I believe is a waste of time and a learning killer.

    Therefore, in my opinion,  teachers need to know their students use the evidence data and plan homework for individual children on a needs basis. The alternate to homework is to encourage/motivate students to read for pleasure in the absence of an individual plan. This may create a thirst for knowledge.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 15 Aug 2016 12:16pm ()

    I love the way conversations pop up again in cycles!

    Here's an article, Research Finds The Effects Of Homework On Elementary School Students, And The Results Are Surprising (American) showing after 25 years of research from Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Harris M. Cooper that while homework for secondary students is beneficial, formal homework tasks for primary-aged students show little or no benefits and may even be detrimental to learning. 

    Instead alternative tasks at home like the following may prove to be more beneficial:

    Teach responsibility with daily chores. Instead of relying on homework to develop a kid’s sense of responsibility, there are so many everyday habits that can teach them to be responsible, such as getting up and ready in the morning, making the bed, helping out with chores, or even looking after a pet. http://www.lifehack.org/385878/research-finds-the-effects-of-homework-on-elementary-school-students-and-the-results-are-surprising?dgs=1

    • What do you think as a leader?
    • What do you think as a teacher?
    • What do you think as a parent?
  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 22 May 2017 3:34pm ()

    Shortest school year, shortest school days no homework and yet Finland is ranked one of the successful education systems in the world.... how come? Loads more from Michael Moore in this short documentary.

    What do you think?

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