Homework is only one possible factor aiding academic achievement. It is important to explore how great a role homework plays in improving academic achievement.
Some traditional aims of homework may be:
* Organising/reinforcing/revising the daily intake of information.
* Enriching and extending the daily intake of information.
* Practising new and old skills.
Consider the avaerage student’s attitude to homework.
Unless the student sees and understands WHY the homework is set and VALUES the homework as an important means of learning, then its role in academic achievment is negligible. This particularly applies to those who appear to have a photographic memory; those who somehow manage to remember lessons and apply them well under examination conditions. But these students are rare, and often the “flush of sailing” on classwork alone will not last into the senior years of high school. Classwork attention is a risky foundation when senior years demand that students explore topics; when class time is not always enough to cover all aspects of a topic. In short, there are gaps that the student must “fill” to be adequately prepared for final examinations. And here is where homework has a large part to play.
Before academic achievement may be enhanced by homework, the student must:
* Believe homework is a means to higher grades.
* Believe committing to regular homework is a personal goal, not just a duty.
* Believe practicing skills is a homework necessity.
* Believe homework is a means of fostering a sense of self-esteem and belief in “I can do”.
* Believe homework is a means of researching topics, so that a personal viewpoint may be established.
* Believe that a regular time and space must be assigned to homework; that this fosters positive working skills later in life.
* Believe, in senior years, it is important to “go beyond” the demands of set homework.
* Believe that the routine of homework keeps the memory active, alert and accurate.
It is not enough for a student to be told these beliefs. Unless students see homework as a relevant means to attaining personal goals, then the whole fabric collapses. There can be little prospect of improving academic achievement via homework. Students may be taught well, but they must learn well too. This means students need to take personal ownership of homework if they really wish to improve their prospects of academic achievement.
In the hands of a committed student, wanting to improve grades, homework is a means to improving the chances of academic achievment.