GIPI · Grupo Imágenes Palabras e Ideas

Relationship between family and school through homework


In this project we analyzed school homework as an educational tool from which to establish a bridge between the family and the school to try to connect daily and scientific knowledge. For this we analyzed data collected in a questionnaire regarding parents´ beliefs on the matter, and real situations of interaction where adults and even siblings collaborated with children in the resolution of their homework.


  • To explore ideas from families regarding homework, with the aim of comparing to what extent it is possible to establish certain links between the family and the classroom through referred homework.
  • To find out what relationships families establish between scientific and daily knowledge.

Project Development

With the implementation of this project we explored ideas and beliefs from children and their families regarding school homework. We worked from a double perspective: on the one hand through a semi-structured questionnaire to analyze the parent’s beliefs; and on the other, through the analysis of real interactive situations among children.

This study saw the participation of 54 students in year 7 and 8 of EGB and 29 families of those same children who accepted to collaborate. Responses to the questionnaire were analyzed on the basis of a category system resting on three areas: contributions from previous studies on the subject, interpretation of researchers who were participating observers in school and an inductive process on the basis of the data.  Results show that most of the families agreed with the idea of having homework, especially in language and maths, an opinion that was not shared by the younger ones.  In addition, we have to highlight the role that adults as well as children grant to the mother as advocate when it comes to supporting this type of task at home.

In the study, two types of approaches to homework are compared. A first traditional model, in which homework is considered a support to what is learned in school and another one, much more innovative, that the teacher introduces while progressively abandoning the former. In the latter, the role of the family and the introduction of meaningful situations for the children have an increasingly stronger role.



Beliefs on homework

Most of the families agree with their children doing homework, although children don’t always think the same way. This stance is rooted on the idea that the amount of time destined to homework will contribute to improving the learning of those who attend school, reinforcing, consolidating and reviewing whatever represents greater difficulty for children. Parents may think these educational experiences favour the acquisition of knowledge and skills, thus achieving in a not too distant future an improvement in the social, economic and personal position as a consequence of a good professional product. On the other hand, the students are not aware of this reality and, hence, homework may be seen as a load they must bear as one more requirement demanded from the school world.

Transforming learning practices

The joint reflection over the daily practices in the classroom has allowed a progressive transformation. This transformation has required not just a change in the teachers´ trends but also a coming into contact with families so that they could share common goals and attitudes regarding homework, all of it without forgetting the direct implication of children in their own learning process.  We believe only when homework is presented along this line, or along similar ones, will it become an integral part of teaching and learning, which is not limited to the school but can also take place outside of it.

Also participating

  • Students in year 7 and 8 of Primary Education in a public school in Cordoba and their families.


Aid to educational research from the CIDE (Centre of Educational Research and Documentation from the Ministry of Education) to the project titled “Learning in the family and the school”.  [BOE 16-IX-1998].

Related publications

  • Lacasa, P.; Reina, A.; Alburquerque, M. (2002) ‘Adults and children share literacy practices the case of homeworks’. Linguistics and Education, 13 (1), pp. 39 – 64.
  • Lacasa, P. (ed.) (1999) ‘Los deberes escolares, entre la certeza y la duda’. Tema monográfico. Cultura y Educación, 13, pp. 3-100.

Website Research Group Imágenes, Palabras e Ideas. Madrid. 2009.
Coordination: Pilar Lacasa. Editing and digital support: David Herrero Martínez. Web Master: Luis Briso de Montiano Aldecoa. Graphic Design: Rebeca Ochoa Bernabé

Website Research Group Imágenes, Palabras e Ideas. Madrid. 2009. All rights reserved | Credits - Last Update: 22/10/2011