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Teachers' use of teaching and learning materials in homework practices in Australian primary schools

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Michael Horsley, Susan Richardson
While there has been significant research into the relationship between homework and student achievement; and parental involvement in homework (Hattie, 2009; Cooper et al, 2001), the homework challenges that teachers face, and the means by which they can be supported to develop personalised and meaningful homework to afford student learning, have so far received far less research attention. Also receiving little attention are the teaching and learning resources that teachers use in setting homework, in providing scaffolding for students and assisting them to complete the homework that is set. Research undertaken in mathematics classrooms in Singapore schools showed tightly coupled relationships between the textbooks used in class and the teaching and learning basis of homework practice for teachers and students (Clarke, Keital and Shimizu, 2006). The teacher’s role is of pivotal importance in designing effective homework (Horsley and Walker, 2008). Teachers’ homework practices, the teaching and learning resource base of these practices, and the relationship of these practices and the resource base to student learning have only recently attracted research attention (Horsley and Walker, 2011, in press). The research reported in this paper builds on studies that have explored teacher homework practices and their impact on how learning environments are created for their students through homework. The project responds to inadequate conceptualisations of the role of teaching and learning resources in homework practice. This research paper will report on a study of teachers’ use of teaching and learning materials in homework practice in Australian primary schools. The research reports on a preliminary study which a.interviewed teachers about the homework they set and its relationship to the teaching program; b. investigated the teaching and learning resources that were used to set this homework; c. collected and analysed the teaching and learning materials provided to students to support their completion of the homework set; and d. explored online homework support in the completion of homework tasks. The research was designed to explore the balance between paper based and online homework support resources; and how teachers used these different resources in the cultural practice of homework setting. The research will report on the way that technology developments are starting to influence the way that teachers set homework and the teaching and learning resources that students use in completing their homework. The research concludes: a. that teacher homework practices overestimate the teaching and learning resources that students have available to support completing homework; b. that teachers focus on practice and revision types of homework; c. that the majority of teaching and learning resources support practice and revision types of homework;


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Kaunas, Lithuania



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Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education; Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre (LTERC);

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

International Conference on Textbooks and Educational Media