Friday, 18 April 2008

Homework has no benefit in primary school

The TES writes that setting homework for primary pupils does not make any difference to their academic achievement, research has shown. A review of 16 years of academic research on homework has concluded that there is little link between how well primary pupils do in national tests and the amount of homework they are set.

By contrast, there was strong evidence that secondary pupils were more likely to get higher grades if they regularly spent time doing their homework.

Margaret Morrissey of the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations commented that, "Children get extremely tired mentally and physically at school. Then they have to come home and do more work on top of that. It's counter-productive. While we're making six, seven and eight year olds do extra work, in some countries they wouldn't even have started formal schooling."

The researchers said the effectiveness of homework also depends on what, and how much, is set. Many primary teachers set homework intended to improve time-management and organisational skills, rather than results.

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