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' Providing every student with targeted feedback about their homework is very difficult for teachers, so it often falls between the cracks.' Professor John Hattie, of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, has famously calculated the 'effect-size' of more than 100 education innovations.
' The debate about the effectiveness of homework as a tool of learning has continued for more than a century.
There have been more than 130 studies published related to the subject and these have reached different and, at times, quite contradictory conclusions,' a report from the Inquiry into the approaches to homework in Victorian schools points out.
Queensland education department guidelines in 2012 suggest: no homework for Prep students and weekly limits of one hour for Years 1 to 3; two to three hours for Years 4 and 5; three to four hours for Years 6 and 7; and no more than five hours a week for Years 8 and 9.
For Years 10 to 12 it says hours will vary according to individual learning needs.
In this sense, I think schools are not always as sensitive to the contexts of their community as they could be when setting ‘home’ work I was pleased to see Cooper’s work referred to as he has probably done more research into homework than any other person on the planet.
His general conclusion is that HW is of virtually no use in the lower grades, of some use in the middle grades and it is very useful in the senior grades.
The remaining state and territory education departments all have homework policies but do not make recommendations on hours.
Even if you look beyond the fact that guidelines on ‘optimum hours’ aren’t backed by research advice, suggesting set times - as the inquiry committee points out - is about the quantity of work set, rather than the quality.
That hasn’t stopped some Australian education departments from making recommendations on the 'optimum' amount of homework.
Victorian DEECD guidelines (2012) indicate no more than 30 minutes per day and no homework during weekends or holidays for Prep to Year 4; 30 to 45 minutes per day in Year 5 extending to 45 to 90 minutes by Year 9; one to three hours per night for Year 10 to 12, plus six hours on weekends during peak VCE periods.