Appropriate homework experiences can provide a bond of common effort between the child, teacher and parent.
Conversely, inappropriate assignments can serve as a source of dispute.
Consequently, it is essential that teachers make every effort to insure that assignments are:
Necessary and constructive.
Appropriate to the ability and interest level of the students.
Clearly explained and understood by the students.
Accepting this and based upon a consensus of research findings, the following guidelines are suggested:
Teachers should minimize routine type homework for primary age children because it is generally not effective.
Homework should be used to reinforce and enrich learning, not to introduce new material.
Teachers should provide appropriate time to teach work-study habits.
At all levels of schooling, teachers should allow sufficient time for independent study, and guided research.
The purpose of homework assignments should be clear and important to students.
Able students are more likely to do routine homework assignments, but less likely to profit from them. Needy students are less likely to do routine homework assignments and more likely to profit form them. Therefore, it is appropriate to assign projects and independent study to the more able students and initiate routine practice in class to students requiring more repetition.
Teachers should provide all students, but particularly the more able student, with frequent opportunities to engage in long term projects, which they have helped develop.
Teachers should be especially considerate of demands on student's time.
Teachers should show recognition of student time and effort by evaluating and/or correcting homework assignments.
Teachers should recognize the importance of homework in the home/school relationship and continue to keep parents informed.
The ultimate purpose of homework is to help the student become a self-directed and independent learner, not as punishment or disciplinary device.