Organisation of Homework: Malaysian Teachers' Practices and Perspectives

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In 2004, the Malaysian Ministry of Education, issued a new circular on homework with the aim of providing some structure to the organisation of homework in Malaysian schools. Therefore this study set out to explore teachers' practices and perspectives on the organization of homework in Malaysian public primary schools. The study comprised 297 teachers from 17 primary schools located in Malaysia. The data collection process included the use of a questionnaire, semi structured interviews and document analyses. The findings of the study revealed that teachers view homework favourably and see it as an important aspect in consolidating and extending upon classroom learning. Teachers claimed they distributed homework evenly but findings revealed that there has no concerted effort in planning homework for each level. Teachers were also seen assigning more practice based tasks leaving little room for preparation and extension activities and other fun and engaging real life learning experiences. Though school administrators ensured teachers promptly marked and assessed pupils' homework the implementation of homework practices and teachers' adherence to guidelines provided left much to be desired. Arguably, the findings of this study cast doubts as to the effectiveness of teachers' practices in the organisation of homework in the Malaysian classrooms.