Who Invented Homework? Everything You Need to Know!

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Homework has become an essential part of kids’ everyday school lives. But who invented homework?

Modern homework is relatively a new concept, regardless of the fact that it has always been around.

Today, providing students the resources they need to assess important information, make the right choices, and work independently is fundamental for evaluating the effectiveness of a particular academic strategy. 

Now, you may have questioned, “Who invented homework?” throughout the endless hours you have been up late to finish your homework assignments.

Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon!

As we have emphasized many fascinating and empirically supported facts regarding the history of homework in this post.

So, without any delay, let’s get straight into it!

Who Invented Homework?

It’s quite hard to identify that specific individual who invented homework. So, let’s try to determine who created homework and when it was created by looking at some historical records.

Pliny the Younger

Homework has a long history that dates back to Roman times. In the first century AD, Pliny the Younger was an orator who invented the concept of homework when he advised his learners to practice public speaking and master it at home. It was done to boost their confidence and communication skills.  

The strategy was used to assist his students in breaking down barriers and achieving goals, thus it may be referred to as a form of homework.

However, some people would still disagree as it’s not the typical written form of homework.

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Before the United States adopted the tradition of doing homework, Unified German State had been assigning homework to students for ages.

Homework wasn’t required until Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the German philosopher contributed to the creation of Volksschulen (People’s Schools).

Fichte felt that in order to make Germany a newly unified nation, the state must take control over its citizens.

Students at the Volksshulen were instructed to finish their academic tasks on their own time at home as a means of exerting control over them.

That’s why some people claim that Fichte is responsible for creating homework.

Little girl looking focused and concentrated on doing her homework

Horace Mann

In the 19th Century, the politician and educational pioneer, Horace Mann played a major part in the creation of homework.

Mann was particularly interested in the educational system of the newly united Germany.

Assignments that were required to be finished at home during their free time were provided to students who went to People School or Volksschulen. 

Back then, the state included homework in its power game. Despite the political motives behind it, Mann was intrigued by the concept of sending schoolwork home and decided to introduce it to America as well, where homework has since become an integral part of every student’s life.

Roberto Nevilis

Homework is considered to be created in Venice by the Italy teacher, Roberto Nevilis. Even though homework was known before, it wasn’t officially declared until 1905 by Nevilis.

Nevilis was a teacher who concluded that his lectures lost their meaning when his students left the room, which greatly disappointed him and led him to adopt numerous actions.

So, homework was founded. He viewed his homework from two different perspectives.

  • The purpose of giving it to students was to make them stay focused in class and as a sort of punishment.
  • Furthermore, homework encourages kids to keep learning even after school hours.

The key goal was to make sure that lessons learned in class were remembered by students and that they continued to practice them after school to enhance their performance and outcomes.

That’s why “Roberto Nevilis” is the name provided as the answer to the question, “Who invented homework?”  

Now, you can finally blame Nevilis for the origin of homework.

Why Homework Was Banned Later?

Although most education systems now include homework as a standard practice, it wasn’t always the case.

If you keep looking into the history of homework, you’ll be stunned to hear that it was once banned in several states.

Children below the age of 15 were not allowed to do homework in California state.

Indeed, even prestigious publications like the Ladies’ Home Journal and New York Times published articles outlining the negative effects of homework.

They painted a negative picture of the person who created homework as well as its invention. 

Almost 30 years later, in 1930, the ACHA (American Child Health Association) declared that assigning homework was nothing but child labor. 

Stating homework as child labor gave individuals the opportunity to consider homework as something that put kids through a lot of stress. 

Many people started to think that it was an inappropriate approach by the public education system.

Why was homework invented?

The originators of school homework, parents, teachers, and professionals have been debating the value of homework for years.

According to the new findings, homework’s type and duration are debatable, but everybody seems to agree on one thing that homework is essential for expanding students’ knowledge.

The inventor of homework, Nevillis claims that it assists students in the following ways:

  • Students can work without being constrained by restrictions like those imposed by class lessons.
  • In order to learn more, students can dive deeper into particular topics or subjects.
  • Based on the projects, they are assigned, students might begin to evaluate themselves. Can I resolve this kind of issue? Can I tackle more difficult issues?
  • Students can access more resources to find the links between various topics and fields, rather than just concentrating on the resources that are given to them in class. For instance, some mathematical problem-solving techniques can also be employed in other domains, like physics and geography.

Relying upon these facts, homework becomes a powerful tool that helps students improve gradually in their academic interests. Here are some additional motives behind assigning homework:

  • Assists in the growth of key learning abilities like comparisons, assumptions, and hypothesis building.
  • Boosts the student’s inner urge to become independent and self-driven in their academic career.
  • Promotes progressive education reforms and the importance of educational skills that are taught in various methods.
  • Develops the ability to draw information from a variety of sources, including journals and books.

The ideal homework must promote the learner’s overall growth.

For the student to gain additional skills, the teacher must carefully balance various forms of assignments.

It is required to offer the student a unique and engaging manner to learn outside the class.

Woman helping her children with homework

Different types of homework?

The U.S. Department of Education offers teachers a wide range of information and materials to assist students with their homework.

Teachers typically assign homework that involves the use of four techniques. The following are the four types of homework:

1.     Practice

Teachers will give homework that requires learners to repeat a certain skill in order to help them master it. For instance, kids have to work through a number of math questions.

2.     Preparation

This kind of homework makes students familiar with the content they will study later.

Giving students a chapter to study before addressing it in class the next day is one such example of preparatory work.

3.     Extension

This kind of homework is given when a teacher wants to encourage students to put what they’ve learned into practice.

Enhancing problem-solving abilities is one benefit. Students handle problems differently when they consult a textbook to get the answer to a question, for instance.

4.     Integration

Teachers will design a project that demands the usage of numerous skills in order to enhance the learning experience for students. A book report is an illustration of integration.

The completion of integration homework projects assists students in developing their organizational, planning, and problem-solving skills.

In the end, homework must challenge students to solve problems while practicing the skills they have learned and must have a clear objective and a clear emphasis.

How Does Homework Enhance the Education Quality?

You must know that assigning homework isn’t primarily intended to punish or control students.

It’s simply a wonderful approach to organizing and thoroughly memorizing all the stuff that has been taught.

Many essential abilities cannot be developed by students without homework.

Of course, professors provide a lot of information during class, but the purpose of homework is to put that knowledge to use by having students complete their practical work that demonstrates how well they have learned and mastered the topic.

Numerous experienced researchers stated that it’s essential to integrate both theoretical and practical techniques.

It assists students in developing new abilities, thinking creatively, accessing the knowledge required to complete a project, improving time management, and applying new knowledge and skills in the future.

Every student receives a score for their homework, which motivates them to devote more time to learning at home, understand the content in class completely, get high grades, and gain the attention and support of their teachers.

So, who invented homework?

Even though homework is now socially accepted, many people still consider it unnecessary. 

There are many advantages of homework for learners like it assists the students in mastering what they have studied.

It supports their personal creative growth. Plus, it assists students in improving their research skills.

Similarly, homework has its drawbacks as well. For instance, it makes students stressed as deadlines can make them anxious.

It consumes the students’ free time to perform other activities. Also, sleep issues, anxiety, and even mental instability might result from this.

So, for students, homework involves both pros and cons. However, schools can assist them by extending deadlines, providing shorter school days, and offering to counsel students who require it for their assignments, among others.

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