My daughter is returning to school tomorrow after a week of term break. Soon she will be swamped with homework and she will have to complete them conscientiously. Her teachers commented that she is very hardworking but beyond that does she comprehend what she learnt? That is a BIG QUESTION MARK!
As a teacher, I do ask my high school students to complete the practice questions but I seldom collect them. I assess them informally through their presentation of their completed work. I understand more on whether they are learning through small group or 1-to-1 interaction.
So what is the role of homework especially mountain-load of them? Perhaps this article – The Trouble With Homework – can shed some light. The following paragraph resonates strongly with my belief and I tried to practice it in my interactions with students.
Another common misconception about how we learn holds that if information feels easy to absorb, we’ve learned it well. In fact, the opposite is true. When we work hard to understand information, we recall it better; the extra effort signals the brain that this knowledge is worth keeping.
Rather than complaining about the lack of time to complete the “syllabus”, I wish for more time to withhold information and solutions.
Resources on the value of homework in education: