The summary below presents the research evidence on homework in primary schools in the Australasian context.
The Teaching & Learning Toolkit focuses on impact; it presents an estimate of the average impact of homework in primary schools on learning progress, based on the synthesis of a large number of quantitative studies from around the world.
This page offers a summary and analysis of individual Australasian studies on homework in primary schools. In contrast to the Toolkit it includes studies which do not estimate impact, but instead investigate the implementation of interventions and how they are perceived by school leaders, teachers and students. This information is valuable for school leaders and teachers interested in finding out more about particular examples of primary school homework interventions that have been delivered in Australia and New Zealand.
Melbourne Graduate School of Education generated this summary and it is current for June 2016.
Summary of Australasian Research
There remains a dearth of research literature on the impact of homework on primary students’ learning and outcomes specifically in an Australian or New Zealand context.
One study by Falch and Rønning (2012) examined homework in OECD countries more broadly but included data for Australia and New Zealand. The study showed that homework was more extensive for mathematics than science. Schools in both Australia and New Zealand, on average, gave homework 50 per cent of the time.
An Australian case study of young children’s experiences of homework (Farrell & Danby, 2015) found that participant children were very proactive with their homework and their parents had little to no involvement in that process. The children viewed homework as a part of their daily routine, which is suggestive of the roles of parents and teachers in facilitating the children’s perceptions of homework.
Hattie’s (2009) synthesis of five meta-analyses on primary and secondary homework (161 global studies) are detailed within the Australasian Research Summary for secondary homework.
Falch, T., & Rønning, M. (2012). Homework assignment and student achievement in OECD countries(Discussion Papers, 771). Oslo, Norway: Statistics Norway Research Department.
Farrell, A., & Danby, S. (2015). How Does Homework "Work" for Young Children? Children's Accounts of Homework in Their Everyday Lives. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36(2), 250-269.
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London; New York: Routledge.
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Homework; Primary education; Primary school; after school study; homework and achievement; Australia; New Zealand.