Your homework is . . . nothing

I read a piece of research the other day that confirmed something I'd long thought.

It was a meta-study looking at the factors which impact on attainment. Bottom of the list was the setting of regular homework. This came as no suprise to me. I've long seen the setting of homework as an exercise in futility.

I do think there's something to be said for reading homework (planning a post on this sometime soon). Written homework, however, never works. A couple of students do it well. The same students who really didn't need to do any extra work. Most rush off something very poor. A good number don't do it, setting off a tedious cycle of sanctions to get the work done, inevitably to a poor standard. At the end of the process, a lot of effort has been expended and some paper filled but very little gained.

If students are taught well, there isn't much need for them to be taking written work home. Most teachers are setting it out of tradition rather than for any particular aim.