The study revealed that Finnish teachers made better use of homework in the classroom setting. Sweden, Finland and Norway participated in the study where it was found that Finland put greater emphasis on homework that allowed pupils to mark and discuss their work in class.
However, students shouldn’t get too excited about the report’s findings as homework is here to stay according to Sweden’s Education Minister Jan Björklund.
“The solution is not to get rid of homework,” he told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper in reaction to the study.
In the report it states that Swedish teachers are using homework in an incorrect way by failing to follow it up adequately the next day. It was also suggested in the study that homework was sometimes used to fill in gaps when teachers were unable to teach during their classroom lessons.
“In Finland the homework activity in class is there to enhance learning which is a marked difference to Sweden and Norway,” said Liv Sissel Grønmo, a researcher at the University of Oslo.
Swedish teachers were given a poor grade for failing to follow up on mathematics homework in particular. Nine out of ten teachers in Finland who participated in the study were found to discuss maths homework regularly in class compared with just two in ten in Sweden.
“Homework is good when used properly but the problem is that it is often used as a way to make up for what they didn’t learn in class and that is wrong,” said Björklund.
He added that in order to solve the homework problem new directives are needed along with changes in the training of teachers.