Homework is not new. Since the mid-nineteenth century it has been used to supplement the school curriculum, moving in and out of fashion according to the political climate. Pupils do not enjoy doing homework, but they believe that it is important in helping them do well at school. What is the evidence for the effectiveness of homework? Susan Hallam's extensive review of the literature on homework starts with a brief overview of the history, nature and purpose of homework and then reviews research on its effect on pupils' attainment. She then describes the findings of studies that compare homework with no homework or with supervised homework, and international and UK studies looking at the relationships between time spent on homework and attainment. Further chapters explore different types of homework and their effects and teachers', pupils' and parents' perspectives on homework. The final chapter considers the future of homework, including interventions to support pupils, and proposes a model providing a framework for thinking about homework. On balance it seems likely that children will still be asked to undertake homework, but schools must take the lead in redefining the homework agenda and putting student learning at its centre.
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