Homework. Who needs it? Maybe nobody. The amount of homework children do varies wildly from nation to nation. While the effects are not entirely predictable, it seems that leaving kids time to play and learn on their own initiative may reap greater rewards.

In South Korea, which leads the world in education, students receive less than three hours’ worth of assignments each week.

Of course, there are many other factors at play, but it’s worth noting that countries handing out significantly more homework – such as Italy (8.7 hours) and Russia (9.7 hours) – tend to find themselves outside of the top-10 table of educators.

While schools are supposed to be cathedrals of discipline and knowledge, in the broader realm of education there are no hard-and-fast rules.

Each nation’s education system develops in tandem with new international ideas and trends. At the same time, decisions regarding homework and extra-curricular activities must take account of the cultural idiosyncrasies, economics and political context of each country.

What works in one place may not work in another; neither, of course, will each student respond to a system in the same way.

The United State’s average spend per school student is greater than any other country’s. And yet they lag behind as the 17th best education system in the world.

Is it over-crowded classrooms, lack of innovation or lack of diversity that’s letting down the US’s school kids? Or is it their demanding 6.1 hours of homework per week? Maybe it’s a combination of these and other factors. There’s certainly no magic-bullet solution.

All the elements of education need to be tailored for different environments and individuals.

But it’s instructive to consider those education systems that work well and those that don’t – including how much homework they assign their students.

To this end, we’ve developed this new infographic brought to you by Ozicare Life Insurance, which touches on the education systems and academic rankings of several countries.

Homework Around the World [Infographic]

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