As most school and university students in the United States struggle with after-school assignments, not many really wonder about who invented homework. Even though it may seem that it has always existed, modern homework, as it’s known today, is relatively recent invention. Helping students to make decisions, analyze, learn to work independently, homework is not only progress evaluation, but also an important reflection of how efficient particular academic approach is.
Since the primary role of work at home is training, most college professors in the United States think that tasks which are done during off-school hours help them to control each student’s academic performance and suggest improvements when necessary. With clear benefits from both sides, it explains why was homework invented since it already left a significant trace in history.
How Homework Emerged
History of homework dates back to ancient Rome and Quintilian educational theory. As oratory skills teacher, he sought for the ways how memory and attention span of a person could be improved. Quintilian believed that ever since child's birth, parents should control how children speak and do their assignments properly. With this rather progressive method, he invented home tasks. Quintilian also insisted that studying in informal environment helped adapt knowledge to any situation.
However, he was not the one who invented homework in the USA. Here, its history includes several important battles.
- From 1900 till 1915, it was believed that tasks beyond school damage health. Most famous is California 1901 anti-homework regulation law which limited individual assignments to high school only.
- By 1940's, amount spent on home tasks was only 3-4 hours per week, which is unbelievable in comparison with modern situation.
- In 1950s, because of social and political agenda, all kinds of additional assignments were invented. They instantly became an important educational part, especially in comparison with other countries.
- 1980s mark an important point saying that independent job does help with increasing cognitive skills.
- By 1990s, amount of home assignments has not increased, but elementary school children were given more assignments, which resulted in an increase in private tutoring. As digital age emerged, in addition to home schools, home tasks basically became obligatory, placing an additional strain on skills.
When Was Homework Invented and For What Reasons?
Actually, origin of homework as known today has originally started as punishment for students, which is not surprising at all. This famous Italian “punisher”-educator, known by the name of Roberto Nevilis is the one who invented homework in 1905. Since those times, given practice became common among tutors who used it as a way to keep lessons organized by allowing children to train memory, as well as work at different tasks independently. There was no definite standard for this practice yet, but what most educators agreed on was that assignments did not have to be overly complex or deal with material yet unlearned. Therefore, home assignments were created by Roberto Nevilis in order to help students, as well as teachers, understand what has been mastered, what requires additional effort.
Most importantly, inventor of homework has helped people all over the world to find useful tools to keep children organized when not under teacher’s control. From simple writing to complex research projects, it serves self-assessment role and evaluation tool which teaches independence when processing, collecting, analyzing, or reciting information. American educators could not welcome such practice for a long time, yet in virtue of additional challenges of a digital age, home tasks have also transitioned and became even more complex than ever before.
As numerous surveys show, without private tutoring or additional help, students spend more hours getting their assignments submitted before the deadlines than actually taking time to read through lecture notes or textbooks. It is one of primary reasons why modern students turn to online writing services.
Read also: Pay to do homework to be confident that your education won't interfere with your life.
Benefits of Doing Your Homework
A constant topic of debates, an advantage of doing home tasks, it cannot be denied that it remains one of most efficient and proven by time measure to obey existing educational standards. One may dislike all given assignments due to poor instruction or just having too much to do, yet imagine feeling when one actually comprehends task and submits an excellent paper.
According to writing experts, most students claim that they learn more while working independently and trying to understand each task than when listening to actual lectures where it may be more difficult to concentrate or memorize right away.
For example, Finances lessons do take time to master, which still requires help with homework, but as each task is mastered, knowledge becomes solid. It all sounds true because:
- Homework contributes to correct time-management & discipline.
- Students study on their own, relying only on existing skills & knowledge.
- Each concept that sounds unclear forces children to seek for answers, re-read textbooks, analyze facts with additional motivation.
- It allows managing definite schedules, control one’s progress.
- It improves memorization, analysis, comprehension skills.
It should be added that studying beyond school also allows students to think on their own without feeling biased when making important academic choices. While there are educators who see it as negative factor, it brings certain freedom that makes tasks like personal statements and reflection essays possible per se. With more freedom involved in work with home assignments, children learn and think on their own, which alone credits one who created homework for his valuable gift to education.