Homework, performance link queried
A large amount of homework does not always translate into better academic performance among children, according to several foreign surveys."This study has shown there is no relationship between children's academic performance and the amount of time devoted to homework," Ramajitti Institute director Julaporn Masa-thienwong said yesterday at a seminar.
In collaboration with the Thailand Research Fund, her institute has studied the findings of various studies to determine homework levels across the world. Julaporn said her study found that too much homework did more harm than good.
She said some foreign research suggested the amount of homework would begin to have an impact on the performance of students after they had entered the secondary level.
"But the key thing is the quality of the homework," she pointed out.
Julaporn said several countries, including France and Singapore, had already taken steps to ban homework because such assignments did not really deliver intended results.
"Over the past two decades, American students' volume of homework has risen significantly. But today, their academic performance is still lower than their Finnish peers, who have little homework," she said.
Prof Dr Utumporn Jamornmann, an adviser to the Ombudsman, believes the homework problem would ease if teachers followed the national curriculum. "Today most teachers simply follow textbooks from private publishers," she said.
Homework has become a hot topic after the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) suggested it is going to tackle homework overload.
"No one will object to the Obec plan. But we just hope Obec will draw up clear guidelines ," Ramajitti Institute adviser Amornwich Nakornthap said.
He said that when the guideline was adjusted, schools might need to adjust their evaluation method too.