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The impact of homework on self-directivity and self-efficacy among adult learners
 

The impact of homework on self-directivity and self-efficacy among adult learners

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Research on adult education carried out by teacher Aldo Rodríguez at the University of Northern Illinois. Really worth reading!

Research on adult education carried out by teacher Aldo Rodríguez at the University of Northern Illinois. Really worth reading!

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    The impact of homework on self-directivity and self-efficacy among adult learners The impact of homework on self-directivity and self-efficacy among adult learners Document Transcript

    • The impact of homework on self-directivity and self-efficacy among adult learners. Aldo Rodriguez Northern Illinois UniversityAbout the authorAldo Rodriguez is a Uruguayan Fulbright Scholar, adult educator, teacher trainer, and mentorteacher with fourteen years of experience in the field of Adult education. He is currentlyattending a master’s course on Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. Healso has experience as a researcher in pedagogical and methodological issues regardingstudent’s development, curriculum development, motivation and assessment, having presentednationally and internationally in several conferences, seminars and meetings.AbstractThe present research aims at analyzing the possible connection between doing homework andthe development of self-directivity and self-efficacy in adult learners. The population chosen forthis research includes the different actors of the Uruguayan educational public system: students,teachers, school principals, mentor teachers, and supervisors. In order to have a multi-dimensional perspective on the topic some of those actors filled in a quantitative survey and theothers were interviewed in order to have a more in depth vision about the topic. At the end, thereis a set of issues for discussion that popped up as a consequence of the results obtained. Thesetopics can be summarized as the role and importance of homework in instruction, the dichotomybetween deontic teaching and fossilized teaching structures, the relationship between learner’smotivation and homework’s face validity, and homework, when combined with technology, as ameans to address administrative problems such as teacher’s absences.
    • 1 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS Introduction In every curriculum, regardless the theoretical paradigm on which they are based, homework is one of the elements included. The purpose of it may vary according to the psychological and methodological foundation of the curriculum; the amount of it and its difficulty varies from instructor to instructor and from learning community to learning community. Even though this learning community includes a wide range of student’s ages, homework was originally created for children in order to link their homes with education, experiential learning with the classroom (Dewey, 1916), formal and informal education (Merriam, Caffarella & Baumgartner, 2007). Homework has always had a dichotomous vision from scholars, parents, students and researchers. Some people see it as friend and some see it as foe. In its origin homework was seen as a way to integrate what children learned at school with the experience their parents have. It was meant to be a true learning moment where parents and children were together solving problems and team working. It has proved to help to improve learning and self-discipline (Heller, n.d.). In contrast with this view, homework also appears to be an intruder in the family; what is more, it can be argued that not all the parents have the cultural capital to help their children to do their homework (Kralovec & Buell, 2000). In Uruguay, this debate has been a salient source for controversy as there is not a systematic research or policy that can shed light on the topic. After this brief conceptualization we can question ourselves what the role of homework is in adult education. In a field where some authors claim that learners are self-directed due to their experience and internal motivation (Knowles, 1980) and willing to be the most self-effective learners they can, homework may play a vital role. Then, two questions can be posed: Isn’t the
    • 2 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS use of homework an expression of self-directivity? Aren’t the students who can do their homework more self-efficient? Carrying out a preliminary literature research that motivated the writer to further investigate, there are many interesting findings about the topic. Gonzalez, Schmitz, and DeLaune (2006) from the University of Texas have concluded how homework is useful in the treatment of cocaine abusers with the cognitive behavioral theory. Another example was given by Dr. Tellado and Dr. Diez-Palomar who presented a European learning community project called INCLUD- ED carried out by the Center of Research in Theories and Practices whose aim is to overcome inequalities. The project involves both adult education and experiential learning in which “Education has an impact on family education, the school and the environment. There is coordination between family education and school education. Family education helps improve academic results, they become a source” (CREA, 2008). The purpose of this paper is to inquire the educational actors involved about the topic and see how much it applies to self-directedness and self-efficacy. As the literature and research on the application of this issue in adult education is not so plentiful, studying the theoretical framework provided by projects like INCLUD-ED may be of great use. It will also be useful to revise the literature on homework written for K-12 children as some of the criticism on them can be overcome by adult learners. This literature revision is going to be useful to elaborate a questionnaire for people who are willing to share their findings from class observation and experience. In addition to this, I believe that part of my hypothesis is based on the fact that adults have certain characteristics that make homework more suitable for them. In order to define my
    • 3 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS hypothesis I will take into account three variables. The first one is the use of homework in adult education and the other two are self-directivity and self-efficacy as a consequence of the use of homework. Consequently, my hypothesis is that adult learners who do their homework are more self-directed and self-efficient learners. To have a clear idea of the concepts involved within the hypothesis it becomes important to define the variables taking part in it. The independent variable is the use of homework in adult education. Homework is considered to be every assignment that is asked to be done outside the classroom setting. Some examples of it may include group work, research work, individual tasks, and surveys, among other types of assignments. In Cooper’s (1989) words it can be defined as “tasks assigned to students by schoolteachers that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours” (p.7). Homework has a key role in learning as it links the classroom with the outside world and they were created to provide the students with time to revise what they learn in class and expand that knowledge by means of assignments that promote the use of new strategies, knowledge or simply revise some existing ones. These assignments set as homework can have different particular purposes according to the importance the teacher puts on it or the stage of the learning process it represents. Homework can serve as preparation for the topics that are going to be treated in class, or as practice of the topics treated in class. Those two uses are part of a teacher-centered paradigm which is not the objective of this research. However, homework can also serve as extension or integration. It serve as extension when the assignments serve as a way of expanding knowledge by using other sources or more varied information than the one it was used in class. It serves as integration when the assignments are used to establish connection among topics or themes or abstract
    • 4 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS knowledge with experiential one. This can be accomplished by sending homework that includes all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (Wankat, 2001). The dependent variables are self-directivity and self-efficacy. Self-directivity can be defined as “the ability to take the initiative with or without the help of others in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating goals, identifying human and material resources, selecting appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes” (Knowles, 1980). Part of the characterization of what a self-directed student is includes how to self-manage their learning, and take time out to reflect on and monitor their learning as well as be confident, independent and prepared to take risks (University of Queenland, 2011). Self-directed learning, as conceptualized before, is just one dimension of the role it has in this research paper. There are four additional layers in this conceptualization that are essential to fully understand how homework impact on self-directivity. Those layers define self-directed learning as a high-level skill (Martin, 1985), a useful technique (Knowles, 1985) (as cited by Bouchard, 1994), and an assumption in adult learners (Knowles, 1980) and together with the process (Knowles, 1975) end up in the fourth layer that is self-directedness as a personality trait (Oddi, as cited by Bouchard, 1994). According to Zimmerman (2002), homework “may also prompt them (the students) to engage in self-initiated and self-directed studying” (p. 5). The third variable, self-efficacy, is the person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. These beliefs are described as determinants of how people think, behave, and feel (Bandura, 1994; Moss, & Brookhart, 2009). For that reason adults engage in homework activities they foresee they will succeed. Part of this self-efficacy in adult education can be attained to the improvement in their labor market problems and situations to solve (Mayers, & de
    • 5 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS Broucker, 2006). Self-efficacy is intrinsically associated with a self-regulation approach to homework where the learner can self-manage the selection of either the tasks to do or the sources from where they are taking the information to construct knowledge. They can also monitor their homework in terms of goal-accomplishment and efficacy and they have the ability to self-assess their work (Bembenutty, 2010). These variables will be framed in the context of adult education in Uruguay represented by the students attending the night shift of middle and high schools. In order to have a multidimensional perspective the participants in this research are teachers, students, supervisors and school directors from Uruguay. There was a formal petition to the Uruguayan authorities in Education and they agreed on providing this research with a formal framework. There are several limitations found when pursuing this research project. One of the limitations I encounter has to do with the pedagogical background of instructors as the teachers attending this particular population have not had any particularized instruction on the field of adult education (it does not exist as such in Uruguay) and their professional formation is not at the same level all around the country. Another limitation is that a small number of teachers work in adult education, about two teachers per province except for Montevideo. In addition to this, Uruguayan teachers and students are at the end of their school year and many of the possible interviewees may not be attending classes regularly. Finally, the fact that data collecting regarding mentors and supervisors is going to be based on observation brings about the intrinsic limitation of the subjectivity and bias from the observer as well as the difficulties in replicating what has been observed and the interaction with the objects. Method
    • 6 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS This basic experimental research will contain a mixed approach due to the combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection (Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2009). It is considered as basic because it is focused on the discovery of knowledge for the solely sake of knowledge; it is also experimental because there will be results comparison. Talking about the measurement analysis it will be both quantitative and qualitative as it will contain multiple choice surveys which are essentially quantitative as well as interviews where some qualitative information is going to be taken from. Measures. There are going to be two types of quantitative instruments, one addressing students and the other one addressing teachers. These questionnaires will focus on the amount of homework sent, the amount of homework that students actually do, the relevance students see on it and the appropriateness teachers see in it, how self-directed students feel when doing them, if teachers when analyzing the tasks they assign they see it as an opportunity for self-directivity, if students feel more self-efficient, if they associate doing homework with a better performance, and whether they think that more homework would help them have better results in class. Both questionnaires have questions where the participants need to mark a pre-determined answer that can be yes/no in the case of the students and a number meaning the frequency the teacher performs that activity in a range from 1 to 7 being 7 the most frequent in the case of the instructors. The questionnaire for teachers will also include three open questions to know more about their ideas on the topic. The qualitative measurement is going to be represented by interviews to mentor teachers, supervisors, school directors. Those interviews are going to be carried out in English to teachers, mentors, and supervisors because they will be oriented to EFL educators and in Spanish to School directors because they do not speak English. The participants of these interviews,
    • 7 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS supervisors, mentors and directors, are people who are not directly related with the learning/teaching process but they are indirectly related by means of class observation and assessment. It will contain five questions which will focus on the way they perceive homework based on their vast experience and what they observe in the institutions they work, if they see that teachers send the type of homework that would promote self-directed learning and self- efficacy and if they actually notice any visible change in the way students act and behave in the learning process. Participants. The selection of the people taking part in this work was made according to the number of schools, the number of students, and teachers that actually take part in adult education in Uruguay. The sample was chosen among fifteen out of the nineteen provinces in Uruguay where the teacher/s in charge of teaching adults as well as the head/heads was/were interviewed. In total, the two national supervisors, 20 school directors, 16 mentor teachers, 28 teachers, and 84 students intervened all around the country. Procedure. As soon as the national authorities gave the required permission to interview the different actors of the educational scenario, the research instruments were sent by email. The national supervisors submitted the information directly to the researcher’s email. However, the mentor teacher allocated in the different Uruguayan provinces collected the data from the students, directors, teacher, and their own interviews and submitted that information to the researcher’s email address. The rate of answers was high as about 80 per cent of the expected responses were actually received. Results
    • 8 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS The results obtained are going to be broken down according to the different categories of respondents and then a discussion on further topics is going to be set. An important feature that is noticeable in all the different instruments received is that the responses do not contain clear and unisonous positions toward the role of homework, probably because of the double-barreled effect that the literature in general has historically stated as one of the main characteristics of this issue. The first piece of these results is the one that corresponds to students. The vast majority of the students, 76 per cent, do homework on a regular basis and at least once a week. A very high percentage of them agree that they feel they can do the homework; they are equipped with the necessary knowledge, strategies, and abilities to succeed in doing it well. However, 15 % of the total number of students feels that they cannot do their homework. The same figure represents the amount of students that do not see a connection between what is taught in class and what the teachers sends as homework. An astounding majority go along with the fact that as adult learners they have a lot of responsibilities and consequently limited time to do their homework. They express their willingness to do more homework and have more time to do it as they showed their belief that more homework would help them acquire more knowledge in an independent way, and at the same time get better results at school. The second part of these results refers to the answers provided by the teachers. Even though the results are very interesting, there are two types of perspectives. The first one can be noticed in the answers to three questions where the teachers were inclined to be in any of the two extremes. The second trend shows a pseudo equal distribution of the answers. The questions that produced the first type of answer are the one in which teachers assessed their coherence between their teaching and the type of homework they sent. When responding to this question, the interviewees identify a strong connection between their practice and the tasks assigned to the
    • 9 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS students to do at home. The second question that the great majority favored was the one in which they were asked if they used homework as further practice, as a way to expand the concepts and knowledge acquired in class. The counterpart in this first trend was the question where they were inquired about the use of homework as a way to cover topics not treated in class. The second type of figure distribution noted in the results is the one that shows a distribution of the answers that does not allow the researcher to observe a clear tendency toward the topic. The paramount finding is in the first question where teachers rated the importance they give to homework in instruction because there is not a unisonous answer and they actually used all the choices given. The same happened with their view of homework as a source of knowledge and the periodicity they sent homework, the latter has a subtle negative tendency meaning that teachers do not usually send homework. Yet, there is a positive tendency regarding the question of homework as a way to promote self-directed learning and self-efficacy. There were three extra open-ended questions for teachers inquiring about the way they identify self-directivity and self-efficacy in adult learners, how they promote it, and if they think self-directivity and self-efficacy affect learning and how this happens. Those questions were a great source of ideas. In response to the first one, regarding the way teachers identify student’s self-directivity and self-efficacy, they voiced that self-directed and self-efficient students were the ones working on their own, autonomously, leading their own learning by using different strategies like problem-solving and making decisions among choices to go beyond classroom knowledge. Self-directed students were those who do not need clarification and question their perspectives toward new concepts, integrate prior and present knowledge from different subjects, need the teacher only as a facilitator, and their activities are successfully achieved. Some other characteristics of self-directed students include those who have self-discipline, who are capable
    • 10 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS of acquiring the knowledge they get from other sources like the dictionary, the XO computer, books, or the Internet. When teachers were asked to share the way they prompted self-directed learning and self- efficiency in their classes they listed many ideas. Those ideas included guiding the students by making associations with the real world, encouraging them to make decisions, being positive and encouraging while working on self-confidence, self-production, self-reflection, and discussions. On the side of the teacher’s actions, they believed that when tasks are carefully planned and they challenge the student’s knowledge they are an effective tool to promote the two aspects. The interviewees were split regarding whether individual work or team work would promote self- directivity and efficacy, the majority was inclined to the use of group work as a way of not having the teacher all the time helping and influencing the learner. Finally, they pointed out the use of positive formative feedback as an important component to enhance adult’s self-directivity and efficiency. All the participants agreed that by developing self-efficacy and self-directivity with homework students will have better performance at school. The three remaining pieces to be analyzed are the mentor’s responses, the school principal’s responses, and the supervisor’s response; all of them used qualitative research instruments to provide information. The interview consisted of five questions, the same for the three of them, in which the participants needed to answer about the role they observe teachers assign to homework, whether they see those assignments promote self-directivity and self- efficacy, if they are connected with classroom work, the advantages they see in sending homework, and if they find any connection between sending homework, self-directivity, and performance.
    • 11 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS The results collected from the mentor teachers and the supervisors have some contrasting points and some clear positions toward the topic. They coincide with the teacher’s perspective regarding the role of homework in instruction as they do not have clear thoughts toward it. They believe that homework should support what is taught at school, and due to time constraints on the side of adults, teachers should be very selective in the type of homework they send. This also depends on the degree of involvement the teacher promotes in the student. Some teachers address this characteristic of adults by not sending homework; what is more, a mentor teacher pointed out that “teachers do not send homework because they stopped thinking that they can enhance self-directivity and self-efficacy”. They see it as further practice rather than an opportunity to find other paths for learning; it is also argued that students do not see the importance of homework reflected on the teacher’s practice. Along with this idea, the supervisor stated that “students do not have time to do homework because of the time, the motivation, and the importance teachers give to homework”. The fact that homework is usually explained at the end of the class produces an extra burden as students are more interested in leaving the classroom than in understanding what the teacher expects as homework. This lack of understanding prevents them from doing it for the next class. In teaching English as a foreign or second language, the role of homework might be more vital than in other subject areas. Homework might be remedial to “the lower command second language adults have at public high schools, there is a special need to set homework on a regular basis”. This regularity is not always seen as positive by the respondents as they see some teachers who assign homework as part of their jobs, as an extra activity, without having clear objectives and therefore it does not promote student’s learning and lacks appropriate formative
    • 12 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS feedback what worsens the described situation. Sometimes homework assignments are just a way to collect marks. The assignments analyzed also led to dichotomous results. On the one side, the majority of the mentor teachers visualized a promotion of self-directivity and self-efficacy, especially when tasks are well-thought and carefully-planned, motivating authentic tasks and the students can easily see the meaningful purpose, value, benefit of doing them, and at the same time they can have a sense of achievement by doing them. On the other hand, the interviewees asserted that homework in the way teachers design it nowadays do not promote self-directivity or self- efficiency. The tasks are meant just to fulfill the syllabi lacking meaning to students. The learners are still too dependent expecting guidance from the teacher and the teachers do not promote autonomy among learners. Part of this absence of progressive independence and autonomy is due to the fact that teachers still send mechanical exercises as homework. Consequently, the teacher may design tasks intended to promote self-directivity and self-efficacy though in the implementation process they pursue other goals that are more practice-oriented. The relationship among assigning homework, being self-directed and self-efficient appears to be clear amidst all the persons interviewed. They see homework as the “key” to foster self-directivity and self-efficacy. The reason for this asseveration is in the advantages they attain to homework. Those advantages include the self-direction as well as the self-monitoring of the learning process and curriculum enrichment, an increased understanding and development of critical and creative thinking, development of self-independence and self-responsibility in problem-solving situations with the chance of further research and expand their knowledge due to the extended pedagogical time. Being students on their own they can make choices, select appropriate sources, and edit and revise their responses.
    • 13 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS Finally, the school principals manifested the broadest perspective of all the interviewees for two reasons: the first one, they are in contact with adult educators from different subjects; the second one, there are many curricular programs for adults running in the country so they have different perspectives toward various topics. The most outstanding finding in their responses is the use of a certain type of homework as paramount to promote self-direction and self-efficacy in adult learners: project work. Almost all the principals coincided in that important feature of adult instruction because it allows students to research, have a continuity of classroom work, more reflecting time, and have new information to share with peers which altogether makes adults extremely efficient. In this process they can keep focused on their goals, apply their own ways of learning, work on their own pace, and link prior knowledge and experiences. As a consequence, the instructor can observe not only student’s individual work but also his/her interpersonal skills and ability to work in groups. The second finding obtained from the principals’ answers refers to the use of technology as a way to promote self-directedness and student’s efficacy. They see technological advances as an instructional friend for adults and a supplement to overcome teacher’s absences high rates, lack of class time (30 minutes per class in some programs), and provide the students with more time to be creative and work on his/her own. Some principals explained that schools have facilities that would allow teachers and students to work on homework that are sent by email or downloaded from blogs and web pages. They added that the possibility of having an Internet connection eases the access to information and, as a result, students can do their homework faster and more efficiently. The third aspect contributed by principals highlights the shifting in modern curricular programs regarding adult learners. Some principals evinced that the 1994 Program assigned
    • 14 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS homework an important role as the second evaluation is carried out as a homework. In this rationale, this test is not only summative, even though this is the name it has, but also formative because the learner will go through this experience and see it as a learning situation. Other principals talked about 2009 Program where students are expected to make decisions about their learning. Adult learners set their own learning goals according to their own interests. Discussion After analyzing the data obtained, it is important to reflect on certain aspects that require further discussion. One of the surprising aspects to discuss is the role of homework in instruction. It is surprising but at the same time expected that there are answers in each of the possible choices. It is surprising because in a country where education is highly ruled by the government that provides with a syllabus, a methodology to implement the syllabus, a way of evaluating the students as a more general political educational program for public education, there should be a clear policy about homework and its importance. However, it is also an expected result because neither policy makers and scholars, nor teachers and students have a clear viewpoint on the topic and there has been a swinging along history on whether homework should play an important role in instruction or not. Another interesting finding is in relationship to the learner’s motivation and appreciation of homework’s face-validity. Here, there are two variables that might be affecting one to the other. As it was said before, while 15% of the students revealed that they did not feel they could do it, a similar amount of students did not establish a connection between what it was taught in class and what the teacher sent as homework. Can it be possible that this lack of connection is because the tasks lack face-validity? How can we compare and contrast this fact with the idea
    • 15 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS that teachers express that homework and classroom work are perfectly coherent? If we consider that teachers see the homework they sent as coherent with classroom work, how can we put the teacher’s view together with the student’s view? Where is the gap between classroom work and homework? How can we bridge the gap between them? One of the teachers interviewed had a very skeptical view toward this issue. When asked about the way he/she identified these two traits the instructor said “they do not have any (traits), adults need more guidance than young learners, they lack confidence and simple drill exercises are helpful, but even then, they ask for teacher’s help or modeling”. It is interesting that the vast majority of the professionals were in favor of a positive attitude toward self-directivity and self- efficacy in adults and only one teacher explicitly rejects the idea. The reason for this interest is that even though almost all the teachers favored self-directivity and efficacy and they saw in homework a good tool to develop those characteristics, this is more apparent than real. While reading the answers some of the language encountered was “to be tutored or aided by the teacher”, “letting them express their opinions”, “working on their mistakes”, “when they learn best what the teacher teaches”. All these phrases are an indicator of how deeply rooted the teacher-centered model is in those teachers. This may provide a dual view of those teachers as they are informed and conscious about this learner-centered approach in education called self- directed or self-planned learning but the old learning structures pop up with the same intensity yet in a hidden way. When reading the results from supervisors and mentor teachers the reader may have noticed on the positive attitude toward homework and how it can be a means to achieve self- directivity and self-efficacy. However, it is interesting to note that some participants who held the position just stated gave answers that oppose the rationale of self-directed learning. They
    • 16 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS believed in homework as a tool for better retention of factual knowledge, reinforce and retain class knowledge while maintaining a routine, check understanding and practice. The association between practice and independence as a synonym for it was stated by many participants. Needless to say, practice as such corresponds to a positivist paradigm and therefore it is not aligned with the foundations of self-directed learning so it is intriguing how a contradiction unveils. Again, a dichotomous thought is found as mentor teachers and supervisors are sure about the positive effects of homework on self-directivity and self-efficacy but at the same time the use contradicting ideas which remind us of the built structures everyone has regarding the way we learnt and the model of teaching we were exposed to. From the principals’ perspectives it is essential to observe how they went beyond the pedagogical aspects of the teaching/learning transaction and they analyzed administrative aspects of it. It is extremely gripping and thought-provoking the way they combined technology use such as email and blogs, with homework and project work to find a solution to teachers’ frequent absences. They visualized many advantages in the use of homework as a way to enhance self- regulation among adult learners. However, principals observed how the teachers are fearful about sending homework, or others do it just as part of their job duties and they do not use the results appropriately. It becomes evident then that the learning communities need to work on this subject in order to take the best out of it and at the same time use a cheap tool that will definitely impact on student’s achievement and learning. One final idea that might engross the discussion is this concept of a multi-dimensional gap existing in the educational system. This breach is manifested in what teachers say and what teachers do, what students think and what teachers think, what teachers see and what administrators observe, the excuses the principals recognize on the teacher’s actions and what
    • 17 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS students actually see. This multi-dimensional gap sets the scene for a profound discussion about the way the teaching/learning process should be approached and how the different persons taking part in it can act coherently and systematically in order to bridge those gaps.
    • 18 THE IMPACT OF HOMEWORK ON SELF-DIRECTIVITY AND SELF-EFFICACY AMONG ADULT LEARNERS References Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V.S. Ramachaudran (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, 4, pp.71-81. Bandura, A. (1995). Self-efficacy in changing societies. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Bembenutty, H. (2010). Homework completion: The role of self-efficacy, delay of gratification, and self-regulatory processes. In The International Journal of Educational and Psychological Assessment, 6, pp. 1-20 Bouchard, P. (1994). Self-directed professionals and autodidactic choice: A framework for analysis. In H. B. Long New ideas about self-directed learning, Oklahoma Research Center for Continuing Professional and Higher Education of the University of Oklahoma, Ch. 9, pp. 121-137. Brookhart, S. (2009). How to give effective feedback to your students. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Cooper, H. (1989). Homework. New York, NY: Longman. CREA UB (2008). One of CREA’s projects has become the first integrated project (IP) research framework program of the European Union coordinated from Spain. Retrieved from http://creaub.info/2008/09/10/includ-ed-first-ip-project-on-education-coordinated-by-a- research-centre-of-spain/ Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. New York, NY: Free Press.
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