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How to Learn About Different Approaches to Homework in Countries Around the Globe
  • Feb 2022
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How to Learn About Different Approaches to Homework in Countries Around the Globe

1st February 2022

Homework is a significant aspect of the learning process. Students study, work on assignments and read books outside of school hours to better their understanding of topics taught in classrooms, as well as prepare for lessons that will be taught during the next day or week. Since homework is considered an extension of classwork—and also because it helps students become familiar with concepts they are learning even when they are not at school—different countries around the globe view homework differently depending on their philosophical approach to education.

Homework in the USA

The most common approach to homework in America is for parents to take an active part in the learning process by monitoring what their children are working on, checking it when they're done, and helping with difficult problems when necessary. Many American schools also have tutoring programs where students can go after school for help if they need it or study groups that meet regularly in order to reinforce the skills needed to pass standardized tests.  On average, elementary school students in America receive around 10 hours of homework per week, middle schoolers get roughly 13 hours, high schoolers work on about 17 hours of assigned tasks each week, and college-bound teenagers work an additional 12 hours on homework each week.

Homework in Israel 

The Israeli educational system is very different from that of the United States. For example, in Israel, there are no school buses or school trips for students. Students either walk to school or take public transportation. Since many children live far away from their schools, they need to get picked up by family members after school each day.  Parents are expected to pick up their children by 5 pm at the latest. If a student misses this time limit, he will be marked as tardy and required to complete make-up work in order to catch up with his classmates during class time. It is also unlikely that teachers will give make-up homework or allow students to do extra credit work in order for them to pass their classes since all students need to master the material presented in class.

Of course, this approach changes during college education, where students are given the freedom to manage their time in accomplishing academic requirements. Israel’s international study programs offer a learning experience like no other since not only are most of the subjects you study in Israel in English, you also get the opportunity to learn more about the Jewish culture with its Jewish studies program. You also get to enjoy and appreciate the rich Israeli culture while studying in Israel, learn Hebrew, and explore Israel while you live it like a local!

Homework in Japan 

In Japan, homework is more of a collaborative effort between teachers and parents than it is in the United States. Instead of relying heavily on tutors or outside help, Japanese students are expected to work closely with their families both at home and in school in order to pass their classes. Teachers often see parents as learning resources for children in favour of hiring extra tutoring instructors or providing after-school assistance. For this reason, Japanese schools have virtually no independent study programs available to students when they finish their hours of homework each day. Only recently have schools begun adopting some educational approaches from other parts of the world that incorporate outside curricula into class curricula, but many educators believe that parents should be more involved than they currently are.

Homework in Finland 

Unlike Japan, homework is considered to be a key element of education in Finland. Homework assignments consist of reading and writing projects as well as short problem-solving questions. Because the quality of teachers' instruction varies widely across different schools, students are expected to spend at least three hours on their homework each night regardless of whether it's related to what was taught in school that day or not. Finnish teachers assign homework for several reasons including reinforcing classroom concepts, assessing student progress, motivating students by having them complete work at home instead of during class time, encouraging self-study (where students study outside of school) and improving their learning skills.

Homework in South Korea 

Korean high school students are one of the most overworked student populations in the world. Each day, Korean students spend seven hours at school and an additional four hours doing homework after classes end. Compared to the best and brightest students of other countries, Korean teenagers do better academically; however, recent studies show that they suffer from higher levels of depression and suicidal tendencies than their counterparts in America and Japan due to their demanding study schedules. For this reason, some schools like Daewon Foreign Language High School (one of the most prestigious private schools in Seoul) have begun making compromises on how much time their students spend daily on academic work. Daewon now allows its teachers to set limits on how many hours each day students spend outside studying so that their health is not compromised.

Homework in China 

In China, students are responsible for every aspect of their own learning. They must complete all homework assignments to the best of their ability without help from parents or teachers. Self-study is very common among Chinese students because many have to commute significant distances every day just to attend school. For this reason, they spend long hours studying outside of class so that they can perform well on tests which are necessary for gaining admission into college and securing a good job later on in life. Many teachers encourage independent study because it empowers students with skills needed to forge their own futures rather than be dependent on others. Additionally, the Western practise of having children work with tutors or attend after-school programs where they can get extra help is frowned upon in China. 

Homework in Brazil 

The approach to homework in Brazil is much less structured than what American students face every day after the final bell has rung. Parents are expected to be more involved in their children's education because, like many other countries around the world, Brazilians place a strong emphasis on academic performance as a measure of success both within and outside school. But unlike Japan, where homework overloads cause stress for overworked students, Brazilian children tend to spend much less time on academics (even though they still rank above U.S. students).  On average, Brazilian teachers give between two and five hours of homework each week which is usually just an extension of classwork that requires additional time and practice to master. 

Homework in England

In England, homework is usually assigned only when the teacher feels it is necessary for students to create new materials or write an essay based on their classroom lessons.  On average, English children spend around three hours per night doing schoolwork at home so that they can keep up with the demands of their classes without sacrificing sleep or family time. Many schools also have initiatives where children are involved in community service projects so that they learn how to use what they've learned outside the context of academics.  

The key takeaway here is that each country's approach to homework may vary, but the end result - student academic performance - does not change. The next time you're tempted to assign an extra worksheet for your child's math class, remember that you should always take into consideration their natural learning style before making a decision.



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