As a matter of fact, the term homework is misleading. Homework is not always meant for home; it may be done at home or elsewhere, even in the school. Homework is a thing which is meant to be done outside the timetabled curriculum but not necessarily at home; which contains an element of independent study because it is not usually directly supervised or controlled by a teacher. Thus, homework is a strategy at the disposal of teachers to improve students learning.
Objectives of homework
Homework is used to achieve a variety of tasks. Some of the intended objectives of homework include enabling students to complete or consolidate work done in class and to leave pupils to follow their lines of enquiry. Homework is also given to encourage students to develop the practice of independent study and discipline in their lives. To develop practice, where it is needed, of skills learned in the classroom.one of the important objective is to open up areas of study and to make possible the use of materials and sources of information which are not accessible in the classroom. Homework involves more than a routine task; it has clear curricular objectives.
Tasks to be assigned
Depending on the objective to be achieved and the subject matter, the homework may take various forms, various task assigned as homework include as factual knowledge, reading, learning, fact finding, thinking and problem-solving, especially in physics and mathematics. Not all institutions at all focus on same tasks .schools vary in their focus and the objectives they tend to achieve. Better schools and colleges focus on advanced and modern tasks. Homework assignments should not be given out in a punitive manner as they were set out of malice.
Institutions differ in their strategy and policy of homework. Thus it would be impossible to prescribe the appropriate length of time that should be devoted to homework by pupils of various ages and abilities. Some primary schools reported homework of one hour a week for junior classes and three hours a week for 3-5 grades. Some middle schools assigned homework of 4 hours a week, while others recommended 45 minutes a night. Thus there is no rule of thumb for time allocation. Older students can complete homework task without much help from others. They may be required to work independently or with elders ‘help. While lower classes student usually takes help from their parents to complete their homework task.
Many schools use to report to parents of their children’s academic progress. Some schools do prepare term-wise or yearly pupil profile cards which cover: class environment, communication skills, presentation homework completion, etc. It’s the duty of the teacher to check the homework more thoroughly and provide feedback to them. A carelessly assessed homework, without proper feedback to students, does more harm. Students may learn wrong spellings and wrong concepts that will be difficult to correct at the later stage of life.
It is better to assign less frequent homework but to check more thoroughly and provide feedback promptly than to assign homework more frequently with improper and casual checking and delayed feedback. The purpose of assigning homework is to extend learning time for students.it is, however, for teachers and school administration to consider and plan homework very carefully in order to achieve intended purposes.
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