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Title: Conceptualising homework in an Essex primary school : learning from our community
Author: Rudman, Nicholas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 2033
Awarding Body: Anglia Ruskin University
Current Institution: Anglia Ruskin University
Date of Award: 2014
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The aim of this research is to explore the views of pupils, parents and teachers about homework at Maylandsea Community Primary School. Specifically it is designed to investigate their opinions about the value and purpose of homework, about what sort of homework they think may be most suitable for primary aged children, about the different roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the homework process and about ways in which homework activities might promote children’s involvement and their enjoyment of learning. These collected views were then used to prepare a framework to provide guidance, clarification and exposition in order to assist members of the school community. This research is designed to address the paucity of understanding about homework in a primary school and to discover if and why parents, pupils and teachers think that homework is valuable and worthwhile. This study is located within a qualitative, epistemological paradigm and it employs a social constructivist research methodology. The researcher adopts the stance that homework is a socially constructed, socially described and socially conceptualised activity. This is insider research and the researcher is also the school’s headteacher. There is an acknowledgement that action research models and participatory enquiry approaches have influenced the research design but have not defined it. This research is a single case study located within one semi-rural primary school in Essex. This study finds that parents, pupils and teachers recognise that homework has an important role to play in helping primary age children to learn, in developing positive learning habits and in promoting good personal and social skills. It discovers that there is confusion about parents’ roles in supporting homework. It demonstrates that homework should be made meaningful for families and engaging for pupils and that the foundation for successful homework lies within the quality of the tripartite relationships between teachers, children and parents. This thesis offers a new framework to support teachers and families and it concludes that, whilst existing literature is ambivalent in terms of the value, purpose and effectiveness of homework, stakeholders at this primary school consider it to have positive benefits both for learning and for the personal development of young children. However, these benefits are most evident when the homework tasks are interesting, varied, personalised and relevant to learners’ needs. Families are supportive of homework when they can appreciate that it is meaningful to them and their children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: homework ; primary school ; social constructivism ; framework ; stakeholders