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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

Homework is of "no real benefit" in primary school

Primary school principals group says effective teaching is fare more beneficial than sending children home with piles of work.

No value in doing homework
No value in doing homework

The burden of homework is an affliction that a primary school principals group believes may not be of any real benefit to school children, a number of news organisations are reporting.

The Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN), which represents principals and deputy principals in 90% of primary schools, has submitted a research paper to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Curriculum Reform which argues that there is “little evidence to suggest that homework as we currently know it has any real benefit”.

RTE report that Mr Sean Cottrell, Director if the IPPN says that  “effective teaching in the classroom, which differentiates both children’s learning styles and learning abilities far outweighs any value of homework.” He added:

Homework can often be the source of a huge amount of stress between parents and children.

This point is picked up by Alison Healy in The Irish Times who in-turn reports that “there was evidence to suggest that some teachers gave homework because parents expected it. Some parents believed that a teacher who gave a lot of homework must be a good teacher.”

The report, however, suggests that effective in-class teaching had more of an effect on students than giving homework.

Katherine Donnelly of the Irish Independent quotes Mr Cottrell as also calling for “a radical review” of the teaching of Irish in schools. Irish teaching in schools is a much-debated topic and Mr. Cottrell believes that negative attitudes towards Irish must be tackled.

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