The great homework debate that I started in the Irish media on the 15th November rages on. Below is a link with the latest interview on the topic with Dereck Mooney on RTE radio 1 on Wednesday 23rd November.
I think there has been many interesting points raised during this debate. Including the fact that many teachers have responded saying that they in fact don’t want to set large quantities of homework themselves. They only set work because they feel it is expected of them. By asking the quesiton – what is the point of homework? We have raised a great deal of thought and awareness into the topic of education in general.
From the perspective of the Purple Learning Project this has then by default gone on to question the way homework is being set? the type of work and in fact how do we learn? why do we do homework? what skills are we teaching? The debate has raised the point that we are still expecting to just “learn material off” in parrot fashion and that this doesn’t suit the majority of students. Repetition doesn’t mean success or effective skills for life. At The Homework CLub we promote inclusive very student centred classes where the students are so involved in participating in the subject that they get to really experience the topics at first hand. This means they take away a real understudying for the material, “We always remember what we do”. Students don’t need to go away and spend hours recreating the material or copying it. When it comes to revision they are simply refreshing their memories and they will do this in the manner that suits them best. It make be a visual mind-map, picture, cartoon or diagram. It may be a practical task with flash cards or play-dough or they could be watching a YouTube clip. Whatever the means it will be a way that matches their learning style.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly