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We bring you discussion, debate and issues from around the web and around the world by focusing on the most popular educational hashtags on Twitter

What is the purpose of homework? The question came up in a recent #edchat about why parents set so much store by homework if it is not worth the time students put into it.

@Mr_Oldfield suggested it was a failure to move with the times, with "not enough teachersschoolsdistricts embracing change". This was echoed by @cybraryman1, who said that parents' views were coloured by their own academic experience: "Parents want their children to have textbooks and homework because that is what they had when they were in school."

The need for homework was debated, with @ShiftParadigm arguing: "If students don't learn something via classwork, what makes us think students will learn it via homework?"

@ILJ014 said that homework "doesn't afford students [the] ability to demonstrate mastery if they have a gap of understanding in class".

However, @Mamacita pointed out that "no single old method works for all children. No single new method does, either."

Others cited research - in particular a study headed by Harris Cooper, a professor at Duke University in the US, who reviewed more than 60 academic studies on homework and found that the impact on achievement grew as students progressed through school (bit.lyDukeHomework).

Sarah Cunnane

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