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Teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards homework in Swedish lower secondary school
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2013 (English)In: NERA 41st Congress, 7-9 March 2013, Reykjavik, Iceland: School – home cooperation, Reykjavik: University of Iceland , 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the last few years, there has been dramatic increase in the number of private companies in Sweden, who provide support for students’ homework. It seems that there is a need to turn to organizations and resources outside school to help students accomplishing their schoolwork. Debate on what has caused this and what impacts this may bring about has been highlighted. However, we seldom hear teachers’ voice in the debate and there is an absence of reflections and research aiming at examining and problematizing the existed homework practice in Swedish schools. This paper intends to explore teachers’ perceptions on the purpose of homework and their understanding and attitudes to critical conditions and factors that should be taken into account in design and management of homework. Constructivist learning approach is central to understand and analyze an active and contextual learning process associated with homework.  Data was collected through a Web-based survey in form of questionnaire, which contained seven themes and 28 items. 212 lower secondary school teachers from nine municipalities participated in this study. Nine in-depth personal interviews with teachers were conducted as a complement. Descriptive statistics and qualitative interpretive principle were applied in data processing and analysis. The main result indicates that the pedagogical goal of homework is valued higher than its social functions. Teachers prefer to use homework to confirm knowledge and skills that students have learnt in school. As to homework assignment, while motivation, repetition and feedback were those terms frequently mentioned by teachers, the importance of variation, appropriation, individual diversity and conditions, and collaborative learning was given less emphasis. In a more critical sense, homework has become a kind of routine in school practice lacking of a long-term pedagogical framework for design and management. In order to reach the educational goal of homework within the frame of curriculum, teachers are facing challenges to reflect over what, why and how homework can improve students’ learning and development. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reykjavik: University of Iceland , 2013.
Keyword [en]
homework, lower secondary school, teachers’ perspective, questionnaire, interview
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81376OAI: diva2:654828
NERA 41st Congress, 7-9 March 2013, Reykjavik, Iceland
Available from: 2013-10-08 Created: 2013-10-08 Last updated: 2014-01-16Bibliographically approved

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