Exploring teachers’ perspectives on primary school homework

Abstract

This research aims to explore teachers’ perspectives on primary school homework, a topic that is highly contested, yet considerably under-researched in England. Whilst it is both small scale and context specific, with a sample of only three primary school teachers, in an independent primary school located in West Yorkshire, it is still a valuable in contribution to a body of research in need of attention.. It seeks to present an insight into how teachers assign primary school homework, and which factors impact upon their decisions in this area. Semi-structured interviews were the method of choice in capturing the teachers’ thoughts on primary school homework. The literature presents the complex nature of primary school homework, highlighting its perceived benefits and potential implications. The teachers’ beliefs seemed to mirror the literature, with academic achievement and study skills touched upon, and parental expectation, teacher identity and teacher expectation becoming central lines of discussion. Parental expectation (what teachers’ believe parents’ expect) seemed to be the driving influence in shaping the teachers’ homework practice, not least because it takes place in the home and may require supervision, but also due to the fact parents’ pay for their children to attend this school and consequently may expect high quality homework. In light of this, there appeared to be a triangular relationship amongst the factors- parental expectation, teachers, in relation to teacher identity and teacher expectation, and children. The chief conclusion drawn from the research is that the most influential factor in the way teachers assign primary school homework is parental expectations. Following this, the key recommendation would be to further investigate whether this triangular relationship is exclusive to this setting, and therefore explore teachers’ perspectives on primary school homework in alternative settings, including primary schools both in the independent and mainstream sector.

Keywords

Parental expectations, Homework, Learning, Teachers, Academic achievement, Study skills, Teacher identity, Parental involvement, Primary school

How to Cite

Simpson A., (2021) “Exploring teachers’ perspectives on primary school homework”, Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research 7(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/fields.806

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Amy-Leigh Simpson (University of Huddersfield)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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