DO students receive too much homework? It is an issue continually debated and argued by parents, and has come to light once more after a study revealed that Spanish students take home nearly double the European average of four hours of homework a week.
Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Alicante and international expert in the field of education, Juan Antonio Castejon, said the issue of homework is “cause for controversy among parents, teachers and students.”
He said in Alicante Province it is not uncommon to see homework amounting to two hours a night, and whilst he stresses this is right for secondary schools, too much for those in primary school is “harmful.” The academic believes 10 minutes per course, increasing each year as the student progresses through school, is about right.
“You start from the premise that the work must be done in class, with only reinforcement being done at home,” said Miguel Andreu, representing school principals on the School Council of Alicante.
Although he said these intentions collide with a stark reality that they cannot meet the curriculum within a single hour class, which becomes more evident as one moves from primary to secondary school.
The provincial representative of the Directors of Institutes, Toni Gonzalez, also shared the feeling “that we send too much homework.”
The issue was raised during a meeting on the right to education in Valencia, organised by Unicef. It was reminded that the region has a failure rate of 32 per cent, leading to belief that more homework does not necessarily lead to better results.