The truth about homework

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With some studies claiming that homework has little or no impact on pupil achievement, schools have been tempted to cut back on it or ban it altogether. But we shouldn’t write homework off, warn two gurus of UK education research. Steve Higgins and Lee Elliot Major argue that the evidence on homework has been misrepresented – and out-of-school study can, in fact, have a major impact on learning outcomes

The truth about homework

As the wind blows across the playground, whipping play bark from beneath the climbing frame into the green wire fence, a group of parents huddle in a sheltered corner. They have formed a circle and it is only as you get close that you can see what they are busy protecting at the centre: 27 cardboard models of the London skyline, some as big as the children who made them, have been neatly placed in rows.

The weather soon worsens. Each gentle lift of PVA-ballasted cardboard prompts twitches and gasps, and the circle moves ever tighter. Their desperation grows: “Where is the teacher?” they ...

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