Putting the ‘home’ back into homework: Implications for middle school reform

Renate Quinn, Brenton Prosser, Robert Hattam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


In recent times, homework has emerged as a site of controversy in Australia, with differing views circulating in the media about the need for homework and the links between homework and academic achievement. While implementing homework in the post-compulsory years remains an accepted part of educational practice, the purpose and nature of homework in the middle years of schooling has been increasingly contested in public debate. In response, some Australian
schools have implemented a 'no homework' policy in the middle years, while others have moved toward a restructuring of their homework policy in response to changing social and economic conditions. However, despite the controversy, the role of homework within contemporary Australian schooling is yet to be the subject of extensive academic research. Further, the role of homework as a possible contributing factor to the disengagement of students in the middle years of schooling is yet to be examined. With a growing focus on improving student engagement and academic performance through attention to pedagogical practices, the use of homework and its relationship to other pedagogical challenges faced by schools is worthy of further consideration. In this paper, the authors present a case study of two middle school teachers who chose to adopt a 'homework grid' as a means to foster student engagement by connecting learning inside and outside of school. Consequently, this paper speaks to the contemporary controversy about the role, relevance and rigour of homework, as well as contributing to debate about the need for a new wave of middle schooling reform in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-58
Number of pages11
JournalCurriculum Perspectives
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes


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