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Do we need homework?
One Sydney school does away with it.

Simon: We did away with homework in 2011 and haven't looked back. Reading is still expected. We have digital tools available for students, like Studyladder and Raz Kids. The problem with this though, is when children go from a research based school to a school which imposes homework based on a legacy, or to appease ‘the parents’. I know of one school where Year 7s have up to two hours of homework a night. This is indicative, not of the workload of Year 7, but of poor teaching practice.

Debbie: Trouble is who is teaching the kids to research with teacher librarians not being replaced?

Christina: Yeah because memory isn't important? Students do not know their times tables because they have no memory skills. They don't know how to spell, they can't remember procedures for writing reports/narratives/experiments. Primary schools should be encouraging memory skills!

Tara: I think homework should be one whole throughout the term.

Example: they get homework at the beginning of the term and have to finish it by the end of the term. This will give them less pressure on deadlines and expectations on finishing by the end of the week. With today's technology children have iPads and can do everything through the iPad so it be good to log in how many hours and what lesson plans they need to achieve through the term.

Julie: Totally agree with no homework policy, I really do not think it achieves anything but stress in the home

What countries must do more to help children who fall behind at school?

Amanda: Nothing to do with funding or adopting new teaching methods! This is what it's about, having so many behavioural issues that a lot of teacher energy and time is invested in managing those behaviors. So many children with individual learning needs (many of whom actually need one on one attention all day every day) and on top of that having 30 plus children in a class and it becomes impossible for teachers to teach effectively – that's why our results are so poor.

Jamie: We have always been able to teach effectively. Schools, for whatever reason, differ so drastically in their teaching and learning practices. Students need to be taught consistently well throughout their schooling. Unfortunately, many students have to deal with mediocre teachers who have given up and blame the students behaviour for the fact they actually don't know how to teach them effectively. I am not denigrating teachers, I am one. It is not good enough to say that it is impossible to teach effectively. If you have the right attitude, frame of mind and are highly organised in your teaching, then you will get results.

Teaching is an ‘isolating experience’ for men

Steve: Not at all. Over the last 22 years of teaching in primary schools and seeing these two excuses regurgitated every time there is a lull in the media, I have to say neither make much impact on men in primary schools.

The bottom line is pay and conditions. I haven't had a pay rise since hitting the top teaching pay bracket many, many years ago. The only way forward in terms of pay is to be promoted, positions of which are limited, and then leave behind the classroom and presumably the reason one decides to become a teacher – the students!

Danny: Not at all. I have done one prac and am the first and only male teacher at the place I'm working at. The time spent or interactions in the job is 99% with students and 1% with colleagues, so it has little to no relevance for me...

Teachers: The Government wants to track you

Michelle: All of this info is already collected by BOSTES as part of teacher accreditation. So we are ready tracked anyway.

Matty: What is wrong with this? Seems quite normal to me.

Rachel: It’s not normal. What is the tracking for? Why do they need to know where we go when we change schools, careers or have a life change.

Shelley: Perhaps we could chip or barcode politicians and see what they are up to. Question 1: If they got the information what would they do with it? Second question: Who would decide this? Third question: Who would pay for the process? Fourth question: Would there be a time frame? Fifth question: Could the money and time be better spent? It is a whole lot of fear mongering.

Daniel Long
Online Journalist