In this project we analyzed school homework as an educational tool from which to establish a bridge between the family and the school to try to connect daily and scientific knowledge. For this we analyzed data collected in a questionnaire regarding parents´ beliefs on the matter, and real situations of interaction where adults and even siblings collaborated with children in the resolution of their homework.
With the implementation of this project we explored ideas and beliefs from children and their families regarding school homework. We worked from a double perspective: on the one hand through a semi-structured questionnaire to analyze the parent’s beliefs; and on the other, through the analysis of real interactive situations among children.
Most of the families agree with their children doing homework, although children don’t always think the same way. This stance is rooted on the idea that the amount of time destined to homework will contribute to improving the learning of those who attend school, reinforcing, consolidating and reviewing whatever represents greater difficulty for children. Parents may think these educational experiences favour the acquisition of knowledge and skills, thus achieving in a not too distant future an improvement in the social, economic and personal position as a consequence of a good professional product. On the other hand, the students are not aware of this reality and, hence, homework may be seen as a load they must bear as one more requirement demanded from the school world.
The joint reflection over the daily practices in the classroom has allowed a progressive transformation. This transformation has required not just a change in the teachers´ trends but also a coming into contact with families so that they could share common goals and attitudes regarding homework, all of it without forgetting the direct implication of children in their own learning process. We believe only when homework is presented along this line, or along similar ones, will it become an integral part of teaching and learning, which is not limited to the school but can also take place outside of it.
Aid to educational research from the CIDE (Centre of Educational Research and Documentation from the Ministry of Education) to the project titled “Learning in the family and the school”. [BOE 16-IX-1998].