30/11/2012 12:44 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Homework Is A Waste Of Time, Says Study

Homework is a waste of time, says study Alamy

Every night, I spend 45 minutes with each of my three children, encouraging, nagging and cajoling them to do their homework.

But today I'm told I might as well save my breath and my sanity. For those conscientious parents amongst us who believe that the only way to get on is through hard graft have been dealt a blow by boffins who say that homework is pretty much a waste of time.

The study of 18,000 tenth grade pupils by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, U.S., found homework doesn't necessarily help children to get better grades.

However, it may help them get better standardised test scores.

Co-author Robert Tai, associate professor of science education at the university's Curry School of Education, said: "The more time students spend on homework, it's not clear that they are getting better grades or better test scores.

"What we are concerned with is that homework is just being assigned rather than being used to integrate what's going on in the classroom."

The study isn't suggesting all homework is bad, especially when it comes to maths.

"When it comes to maths, what we found is that there is a bit of a sweet spot," Prof Tai said.

"Students that were spending about a half an hour on math homework were reporting that their grades and test scores were actually better."

But he added:"Teachers need to be much more clear about why they are assigning homework and what the homework is for.

"If teachers aren't really incorporating homework into their teaching, it's unclear there is any type of benefit at all and it actually may end up hurting students.

"In today's current educational environment, with all the activities taking up children's time both in school and out of school, the purpose of each homework assignment must be clear and targeted.

"With homework, more is not better."

What do you think?

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