Date of Award

1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Barry Down

Second Advisor

Pauline Meemeduma

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine family member perceptions and experiences of homework. More broadly, it seeks to illuminate the nature and social function of homework practices in families and in so doing, highlights the complex relationship between schools and family life. The study involved four families and their experiences of homework. The families were selected on the basis that the parents came from a range of socio-economic backgrounds which may impact upon their children's attitudes and experiences of homework and schooling. The approach adopted to investigate this phenomenon is that of case study. Specifically, this case study uses the unstructured interview to collect data to enable the interviewer to develop a conversation using a set of relatively open-ended questions. These conversations were audiotaped, then transcribed for analysis and interpretation. The interviews focused on participant's understandings and expectations in relation to homework. The intensity of the interaction between interviewer and participant provided an opportunity for the participant to openly relate their homework experiences. The interviewees were asked to 'tell their story' in relation to their homework experiences. This case study adds to the existing literature by exploring family member perceptions of the family-school relationship as it relates to homework. It portrays the experiences of these families and how they make sense of homework practices. It provides an insight into the lives of the four families and how they understand the nature and function of homework practices.

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