Posted March 15, 2014
by Lensyl Urbano
As noted previously, the Finns have no homework, while the South Koreans have a lot. Yet these two countries’ educational systems are ranked 1 and 2 in the world. Misty Adoniou summarizes some of the research into the effectiveness of homework.
A key point: there are two types of homework, neither of which may be awfully useful:
- Extra-practice: Which sometimes does not help a lot because often parents don’t have the expertise to give help when needed.
- Creative extensions: Which students don’t necessarily need or enjoy because they’d prefer to come up with their interesting projects — if they did not have all the homework (or other distractions).
The type of homework I assign differs by subject. For science, I’ll often ask students to do reading assignments and make vocabulary cards before we cover a topic in class. It’s to give them a little preparation and, theoretically, allows us to do more higher-level, application type projects in class–this is the same as the idea behind flipped classrooms. For math, the objective is for students to get extra practice. Much of algebra and calculus relies on pattern recognition–when you can use integration by substitution for example–so some students benefit from extra practice after class.