Homework: based on tradition or research? A qualitative study on teachers' considerations when assigning homework in English
Research on homework indicates that pupils can experience numerous effects from homework and that the effects differ between pupils. Evidence on whether homework influences achievement is considered inconclusive, and dependent on variables such as subject, teacher, level of proficiency, type of task and socio-economic background. Apart from the academic effects, homework is also found to affect pupils’ stress, emotion and motivation. Studies show that pupils’ report stress caused by homework and the pupils’ who are motivated are likely to gain more from homework than pupils’ who are de-motivated. The Education Act and the Ministry of Education and Research states that homework is not a requirement in Norwegian schools and that the decision on whether to assign homework is up to the school owners. The studied documents from the Ministry of Education and Research indicate no clear guidelines on how to assign homework. The results indicate that there are clear pedagogical principles behind the homework assigned, but that they are not necessarily rooted in research findings. Apart from one participant, none of the participants explicitly express that they base their homework practice on research, even though the participants in the study use the same principles as are mentioned in many scientific studies. It is indicated that within the subject of English, teachers experience that their pupils spend time on English during their spare time, regardless of homework, and that they gain proficiency through informal learning which they transfer to the classroom.
ForlagUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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