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individual learning...

Homework

Homework

Some argue that to require homework is to place an even greater burden on students who may already be falling behind. Others feel that without independent work outside the lesson it is very difficult to evaluate a student's progress. What is the right answer?

Not all course content can be covered during tutorials. Reading around the subject, independent research, preparation of revision notes and practice are all good reasons for what might be called homework.

Improving thinking skills

In maths, questions requiring reasoning, involving equations and calculating values provide good indicators of a student's:

  • growing independence and maturity
  • ability to understand and comprehend the course content
  • ability to work through a sequence of ideas and processes with each successive stage dependent on the former
  • ability to present answers in a logically consistent manner

Practice, practice, practice

I encourage the setting of homework, not for its own sake but as a diagnostic tool, a means for me to check a student's unaided progress. Students finding their studies tough-going may be given a homework assignment lasting just 5 or 10 minutes. This will not create any significant additional burden; instead it will demonstrate the student's own commitment to making progress.

Most of the time homework will involve part or whole of past examination papers. Learning how to answer exam questions is an art and can be learnt. Homework is the ideal tool for this.