"It is also about living as well [and] with all of that homework you don't get the chance to...find what you actually want to do with your life"
: Exploring young people's experiences of homework using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Educational Psychology (DEdPsy)

Abstract

The current study is a small-scale, qualitative piece of research which aimed to explore young people’s experiences of homework. Homework is defined as tasks set by teachers that are intended to be completed by pupils outside of lessons (Bembenutty, 2011). The literature suggests tentative links can be made between homework and academic achievement but that it remains an element of educational practice which is often a source of contention amongst teachers, parents and pupils. While a significant volume of research has been carried out on the topic of homework, there has been a limited focus on the views of children and young people. This study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in order to illuminate the lived experiences of the participants. It is an approach which tends to utilise small, homogenous samples so as to focus on the idiographic particular and identify shared meaning. A total of six Year 10 pupils were purposively sampled from a mainstream school in the south west of England and they took part in one individual semi-structured interview. Each interview sought to explore how these pupils experience homework, the ways in which they perceive it impacts on their lives and how it has affected their views of themselves as learners. Data analysis followed the six stages prescribed by Smith, Flowers and Larkin (2009) with five themes constructed, that of Autonomy, Reciprocity, Relationships, Affective State and Identity. A potential model for developing a homework policy based on psychological theory combines recommendations from the findings with relevant literature, contained within the framework of Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Implications for professional practice and possible directions for future research are discussed.
Date of Award26 Nov 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorRob Green (Supervisor) & Beth Tarleton (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • homework
  • experiences
  • young people
  • emotional well-being

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