Greg Whitby: Homework has gone past its use-by-date


On 29th January, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta's Executive Director of Schools, Greg Whitby spoke with Ben Fordham on 2GB explaining that he believes homework has past its use by date. Listen to the full interview with 2GB (Duration 04:21)

Click here to listen to the full interview on 2GB

Homework has passed its use-by-date and causes parents and students unnecessary stress, says the executive director of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, Greg Whitby.

“It represents a view that what you needed to learn happens between the school hours and that you need to do extra work to go over and practice,” Mr Whitby said.

“We now understand that it's the nature of the learning, not the volume of the work you do.

“There are many horror stories of students doing homework all night.

“I do think students are frustrated but they understand that it is a game they need to play.”

Mr Whitby said another problem with homework was also the a rapid increase in private tutoring he believed it caused.

“(They) operate on the view that these are the schools that are not doing good enough teaching and therefore they need extra,” Mr Whitby said.

“The reality often is that the parents have to do the homework.”

Flavia and Sandy Licciardello from Breakfast Point have two sons, Nathan, who is starting Year 4, and Tristan, who is starting Year 1 this Wednesday.

They are students at Mortlake Public School at Concord.

In Year 3, Nathan had two pages of maths to be completed each week, one spelling word a week and students were asked to read from a book each night.

Mrs Licciardello said to suggest no homework was “unrealistic”.

“I don’t want the kids to do hours of homework… they’ve spent 6 hours at school already,” Mrs Licciardello said.

“But revision is important, they have to get used to it for when they’re older. It’s a catch 22.”

She and her husband both work full-time and their sons also fit in after-school activities such as playing soccer, swimming and karate.

Mrs Licciardello said it would take about two hours a week for Nathan to finish his homework but with Tristan she spent about 45 minutes every night because at the time he was learning how to read.

She hired a private tutor for mathematics when Nathan was starting term 3 in Year 3.

“I was in school 25-30 years ago and they do things totally different now… I’m YouTubing things just to try to teach him,” Mrs Licciardello said.

“To make his life easier I did get a lovely lady to tutor him and she is terrific.”

She pointed out how proud she was of her boys.

“I get why some students are stressed and that is totally unnecessary in primary school,” Mrs Licciardello said.

“We just want our boys to be happy and healthy and learn.”

Her advise was to always keep the lines of communication open to make sure your child tells you whether they are feeling stressed.


Posted By Boel Eriksson | NewsLocal at 31/01/2019 3:51:47 PM

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