2019 Volume 20 Issue 2 Pages 27-39
Homework can have both positive and negative effects on student learning. To overcome the negative effects and facilitate the positive ones, it is important for teachers to understand the underlying mechanisms of homework and how it relates to learning so that they can use the most effective methods of instruction and guidance. To provide a useful guide, this paper reviewed previous research studies and considered the roles of homework and effective instructional strategies from three psychological perspectives: behavioral, information-processing, and social constructivism. From a behavioral perspective, homework can be viewed as increasing opportunities for the repeated practice of knowledge and skills, whereas the information processing perspective places greater importance on the capacity of homework to promote deeper understanding and metacognition. Viewed from a social constructivist perspective, homework can promote the establishment of connections in the learning that occurs in school, at home, and in the wider community. Studies have shown that each of these roles of homework can contribute to the facilitation of meaningful learning and the support of students toward becoming self-initiated learners. However, there are some crucial challenges that remain in applying this knowledge to the actual school setting. This paper’s conclusion discusses possible directions for much-needed future research and suggests potential solutions.