We’re always interested in reading about new approaches to learning. Here, some teachers in the US are questioning homework. We don’t think there’s one right way, however, there are important things we can learn from new ideas. It’s vital that we constantly assess how we think about independent learning, and that we don’t miss any opportunity to better support children.
There is a small wave of US school districts and teachers eliminating homework, particularly at the elementary level. But what is the thinking behind this and does the research back it up? Surely it makes sense that ‘practising’ between school reinforces knowledge and fosters good habits?
While learning outside the classroom is useful, it may be that we’re being too narrow in our thinking. Factors such as age, the type of homework, and a child’s home life and support system can all affect how beneficial homework is.
This article explores some evidence of how homework does, and sometimes doesn’t, work. It also looks at some ideas for how to assign learning outside the classroom more effectively.