This blog by Alex Quigley (@HUNTINGENGLISH) discusses the conditions for homework to be effective. It starts with a quote by Dylan Wiliam that makes a clear point:
“Most homework teachers set is crap.”
Dylan Wiliam, ResearchEd 2014.
The subject of homework inspires strong opinions. Teachers, parents and students themselves all have a view on the matter and those views are often diametrically opposed. Dylan Wiliam, back in 2014, shared a very strong opinion that didn’t exactly condemn the evidence and action related to homework to the dustbin, but he poked a gaping hole into our every assumption about homework and its impact.
At Huntington School, we battled with the issues and surveyed the best available evidence, from the EEF Toolkit (Secondary and Primary – note the crucial differences here: homework is much more effective with older children), to specific recent studies on homework (this one via Dan Willingham). The IEE ‘Best Evidence in Brief‘ newsletter has done a great job of collating homework research HERE. Certainly, knowing the evidence base can help our decision-making, though it is of course a little more complicated than that.
SO WHAT DOES THE EVIDENCE SAY?
Homework (or home learning, or “extended learning” as we relabelled it at Huntington) is seemingly most effective when it involves practice or rehearsal of subject matter already taught. Students should not typically be exposed to new material for their home learning, unless they are judged more expert learners. Complex, open ended homework is often completed least effectively; whereas, short, frequent homework, closely monitored by teachers is more likely to have more impact. This could include summarising notes; using graphic organisers to recast classroom materials; guided research; exam question practise; guided revision etc.
Read more here: The Truth About Homework