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Heads nod in agreement and the teacher confirms the state Education Department requires homework to be assigned to all students. For young children (under 14-15 years) there is absolutely no scientific research which supports the inclusion of homework in their extra-curricular activities.
Indeed, “there is no evidence that any amount of homework improves the academic performance of primary school students”, according to Professor Harris Cooper, one of the most respected homework researchers in the world.
Homeworkis seen by many as being essential for children’s scholastic development.
But there seems to be more substantive arguments against homework for kids under the age of 14 than there are for it.
Here's a scenario: As a typical parent-teacher meeting concludes, the Grade 5 teacher thanks parents for attending and asks for any questions about how the class will operate during the year.
One mother asks the teacher to ensure the children receive plenty of homework to help them prepare for the upcoming NAPLAN test later in the year.
And as indicated above, some research actually indicates that the provision of homework actually impacts negatively on some standardised testing.
There is no evidence to support the belief that homework helps students develop the characteristics it is often suggested will be useful, such as ability to organise time, develop good work habits, think independently, and so on.