By Shruti Bansal : “Nothing is more powerful for your future than being a gatherer of good ideas and information. That’s called doing your homework” – Jim Rohn
Homework is the most important topic that we heard from our parents and teachers during our early years of schooling. And the interesting part was not completing it on time. But, have you ever come across this thing in your mind? Why are we in our childhood or students of these days are not interested in doing their homework on time?
To get the answer to this question in simpler terms, we interacted with some of the teachers and experts to find out more about the reasons, attitudes, effectiveness, and types of homework that help students grow in the early years of education.
1. REASONS OF HOMEWORK
Homework has always been instrumental in streamlining conceptual understanding. It not only acts as a bridge between parents and teachers but also leads to the development of practice skills as well as helps in ensuring time management skills.
“Homework provides children with an opportunity to learn self-discipline and organisational skills and to take responsibility for their own learning,” says Dr Shalini Bindra, Vice Principal, MRIS.
“It ensures the continuity and reinforcement of knowledge and skills. Effective homework is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. It fosters independence and creativity in the learners,” says Dilsheen Kaur Sahni, Teaching Faculty – Science at Shiv Nadar School, Noida.
“It builds self-discipline and a stronger connection with learning experiences,” she adds.
The essentiality of recapitulation in day-to-day teaching cannot be denied. Evolving pedagogy and refurbished curricula have become consistently integral to the education system of today.
It is thus imperative to understand that the process of teaching concepts becomes complete only when the content is revisited in-depth by students.
2. ATTITUDES TO HOMEWORK
Students, in most cases, have been observed complaining about homework because it is either boring or pointless. In fact, they referred to homework which involves memorising lists of vocabulary, writing compositions, and finishing incomplete classwork, etc. Ignoring this aspect sometimes creates a negative impact on students’ learning.
“Despite the fact that homework is widely accepted as a requirement of traditional education, the subject has become somewhat contentious. While some believe that homework is an important part of education, others believe that the time could be better spent,” says Devyani Jaipuria, Pro-vice Chairperson, of DPS international edge.
“While dealing with the same issues over and over again can be tedious and difficult, it also strengthens disciplined practice. It’s common to need repetition to improve a skill because it makes you more proficient,” she further adds.
3. EFFECTIVE HOMEWORK
The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us many things, especially the practicality of things that were needed at that time as well as now.
“As educators in the current generation, it is essential that we understand the student’s mindset and provide them with projects that enhance self-awareness and teach life lessons that will stay with them throughout their lives,” Dr Bindra further adds.
“Appropriate homework can increase academic proficiency and help build academic stamina and creativity. Importantly, helpful in developing regularity, routine, and rigor in a well-paced manner,” says Amrita Gulati, Director-Academics, IC3 Institute.
Adding on to the effectiveness of it, Devyani Jaipuria, said “I believe homework is not just another duty to be done by children and to get done by the teachers, but it plays a much larger part in actually making a student more responsible for their own wellbeing; it is a practice to further excel in life.”
“Homework is an essential tool that helps in revising classroom teaching and learning, and builds the habit of self-study. Homework builds up a momentum for learning and helps students manage time wisely,” says Nalini Ethel Paul, Head of Department, English, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Kanpur.
4. TYPES OF HOMEWORK
Last, but not least, the most important question that comes up in every mind is about the type of homework. Here are some of the types that educators and parents can both adopt to enhance student’s learning patterns.
Generally, workbooks claim to be both classroom and self-study-friendly, but they are better used at home in order to separate classroom and home activities.
2. Project work
It is a good idea to have a class or individual project running over a period of time. Projects may be based on topics from a coursebook, the locality, interests, and hobbies or selected individually.
3. Extensive tasks
In addition to extensive reading and listening, students should use dictionaries and a vocabulary notebook, where they can collect useful language they find useful.
“Homework should present a certain level of challenge or difficulty, without being so challenging that it discourages effort. I would suggest a NO Homework policy for subjects like English, Hindi and minors and a 10-minute skill-based assignment for major subjects,” says Shikha Banerjee,Principal, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Kanpur.
“Teachers should avoid low-effort, repetitive assignments, and assign homework with the aim of instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self-directed learning,” she further adds.
The National Education Policy also prescribes homework for students in upper primary grades and onward to develop in them the core skills that will serve them throughout school and work lives.
“Practice makes one perfect”. One cannot deny the truth of this statement. Thus, keeping in mind the advantages that students imbibe from being regular, we can concur that homework is essentially the collaborative skill that students most naturally and effectively align themselves with.