What constitutes ‘homework’?
Homework can be given in the form of written work, e-learning work, research, reading assignments, mini projects and preparatory work for a subsequent lesson (e.g. learning multiplication tables and spelling words).
Rationale for assigning homework:
Getting students to do homework serves the following purposes:
- Enables teachers to evaluate effectiveness of teaching strategies so as to improve instruction;
- Reinforces the learning of concepts taught;
- Assesses students’ mastery of the concepts and skills taught, thereby identifying performance gaps and areas where teachers need to focus on for remediation
- Gives feedback to students of their own performance and progress in learning and
- Triggers students’ schema and prior knowledge and stimulates interest in a topic or concept to be discussed.
General guidelines for assigning homework
- Homework given has to be meaningful and support the delivery of learning outcomes.
- Assign work that caters to the learning ability and needs of the pupils.
- Students who have learned concepts and skills well will be able to demonstrate their ability to apply them in non-routine situations, therefore homework assigned should be challenging and stimulate thinking. It is not ideal to give work that emphasizes drilling as students will not be able to transfer their skills to novel situations when needed. A reasonable amount of drill-n-practice work may be given for reinforcement of well-taught and well-learned concepts.
- Avoid giving homework as a ‘test’ to ascertain students’ mastery level before the required skill/ concept is taught. For example, giving a Math problem that requires the use of model drawing skill before the teacher has taught the use of models to solve problems.
- A reasonable amount of work (total for all subjects) to be done on a daily basis should require approximately:
- 30 minutes to 1 hour of time and effort for P1 and P2 students
- 1 hour to 1.5 hours of time and effort for P3 and P4 students
- max 2 hours of time and effort for P5 to P6 students
- Work done by students has to be returned to parents for endorsement on a termly basis.
- Teachers can guide students in doing work in class, but pupils should still be given some amount of independent work (e.g. worksheets with parallel questions) to do at home so that they can demonstrate their competency at the concepts learned without the help of their teachers.
- A reasonable amount of homework can be given to students over weekends, but not during festive seasons.