Parents and Homework: A Phenomenological Investigation

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Zuidhof, Jonathan
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Throughout history, perspectives on homework have constantly been changing, ranging between positive and negative attitudes towards homework. This is largely the result of current events and research. If one desired, research could be found to support both favourable and unfavourable perspectives on homework. Research has also demonstrated that parent involvement in homework has a substantial impact on its outcomes. Therefore, this research aimed to gain a better understanding of parents' perceptions on homework. The hope was that this research would provide greater insight into the homework debate, providing educators with guidance for homework practice and creating questions for further research. The research design used was a qualitative phenomenological investigation. To investigate parents' views of homework, six parents were randomly chosen from a Christian independent school in an urban area of British Columbia. The six parents were interviewed using open ended questions. The interviews underwent thematic analysis and common themes were established. The most common themes regarding parents' perspectives on homework were that (1) there are benefits to homework, (2) homework should not be new material, (3) homework should not require parental support, (4) homework prevents children from playing, and (5) homework places burdens on families. Minor themes evident were that (6) parents' past experiences in their own education influence their view of homework and (7) there is a need for clear expectations regarding homework. An area that displayed much inconsistency is the amount of homework, as (8) parents opinions on a desired amount of homework varied greatly. The research provided great insight into parents' perceptions on homework for educators, while also creating questions to be explored in further research.
homework , parental perception