Do Your Homework?!
Acting on Evidence from
Headteacher at Highbury Grove School
• Homework – Hattie’s meta-analysis
• Memory, Spacing and Interleaving – Bjork’s
• The Spirit of AfL and CPD – Bethan Marshall
(Kings) et al
• Dialogue as precursor to writing – Emma
Barton MA Thesis.
Hattie on Homework
• Methodology: 5 meta-analyses of 161 studies
involving 100, 000 students
• Effect size: 0.29 average but 0.64 for
secondary and 0.15 for primary
• Different outcomes depending on tasks set,
method of measurement, age of students,
Conclusions from Hattie
What Hattie actually says about homework is complex. There
is no meaningful sense in which it could be stated that “the
research says X about homework” in a simple soundbite.
There are some lessons to learn:
• The more specific and precise the task is, the more likely it
is to make an impact for all learners. Homework that is
more open, more complex is more appropriate for able and
• Teacher monitoring and involvement is key – so putting
students in a position where their learning is too complex,
extended or unstructured to be done unsupervised is not
healthy. This is more likely for young children, hence the
very low effect size for primary age students.
Bjork on Memory
• Methodology: controlled trials with ~ 100
• Statistical analysis with repeat experiments
based on blocking and spacing sets of
• Universal claims about fundamental nature of
learning with implications for planning
Teachers with the
‘spirit of AfL’ also
more likely to hold
learning and to value
…teachers who hold
incremental views of learning
are better equipped to deal
with external pressures….
The implication is that beliefs
and practices need to be
Dialogue as Precursor to Writing
• KEGS Teacher writing an MA Thesis
• Methodology section and literature review.
• Evidence: Transcripts of a series of interviews
with three students chosen as case-study
subjects; assessment of students’ work plus
some survey data from the class.
• Conclusions focused on value of specific
intervention in improving outcomes on
• Is the initial research valid enough to base
decisions on? How specific were the conditions?
How well-defined were the parameters of the
measures? Has the nuance been averaged out?
• Is there a specific values-system at work that
informs of dominates the measured outcomes?
• Does the outcome have general significance
suggesting specific actions that should be taken?
• Does the outcome provide insights and/or raise
questions that practitioners should ask about the
learning in their context?