Everybody who attended formal education can attest to how frustrating it was getting a lot of homework from the teachers, especially during the holidays. Before the class ends, the teacher would either give questions to be answered, discussions to be finished, or essays to be written. Homework was a norm for teachers, students, and parents. They are assigned to all levels of education from kindergarten to higher learning institutions.
Homework can be described as any task assigned to students to be done outside the normal classwork. On most occasions, these tasks are done without the assistance of the teacher. For instance, the students can be assigned a topic to research and present their findings in an essay. Most teachers emphasize that homework should be done outside the classroom. Some common tasks that are assigned to teachers as homework include discussions and reading assignments, mathematical tasks, typing, and writing projects.
The topic of “who invented homework” or “who made homework and why” is commonly debated. However, it leaves readers with the need to learn more about the historical facts and the importance of homework.
Also, keeps the reader curious about the important effects of homework on students.
The main question remains; who invented homework and was it relevant to students?
Who invented homework?
It is quite hard to identify who invented homework. This is because many people might have influenced the history of homework. They include:
Roberto Nevilis of Venice:
Depending on certain sources, Roberto is regarded as the person who invented homework in 1905. However, this seems dubious upon further research. He has a shallow historical personality on homework and he seems to be an Internet myth.
Despite the claims that he invented homework, he is not mentioned in many homework websites. Most sites that describe Roberto’s contribution provide imprecise information. They provide sketchy claims and statements such as “scientists believe” without necessarily citing credible sources. In today’s digital era, most information is placed on the internet. However, when you search “Roberto Nevilis of Venice” on the search engines, only a few blogs and websites with shallow information show up.
As a newly unified nation, there was an urgent need to transform Germany’s education system. Horace Mann was an educational reformer and politician in the 19th century who expressed a strong interest in the public education system. He emphasized that homework could effectively be used as an element of power play.
During his era, pupils attending the “People’s Schools” or Volksschulen were assigned compulsory assignments to do at home. At that time, nationalists such as Johann Fitche gathered support to create a unified German nation.
The idea of homework spread across schools in Europe and became a common activity despite having political origins. Horace Mann was in Prussia when the idea came to him.
Horace introduced the system home in America and homework became a common activity in the students’ lives. With time, the system spread to other parts of the world. He is regarded as the father of homework.
Historical facts about homework
There are many historical claims associated with homework. Ancient Rome has a rich historical background on the term. Pliny the Younger, a young
Mentions of the term refer to the era of ancient Rome. In I century AD, Pliny the Younger, an oratory teacher is also considered to have invented homework in I century AD. He asked his followers in Quintilian to take part in learning activities at home. This practice intended to enhance their speaking skills in an informal environment. Surprisingly, the results were impressive; and homework was considered an important teaching approach. Although there is little information on Robert Nevilis, the Italian pedagog is still regarded as the inventor of homework. He is claimed to have invented it in around 1905.
From the Sumerian civilization, evidence of formal learning can be traced. For instance, these people had clay tablets where they learned and practiced how to read and write. Some student exercises sketched into the tablets were uncovered by archaeologists. However, there is no precise information on whether the students followed a schedule like in today’s educational system.
During this era, there was a different system of education. Homework was not composed of writing down essays and answering questions. Other educational forms were assigned as homework during that time.
Significant reforms were done in the educational system as the 19th century came to an end. Major developments were done to transform the system to make it friendlier to students. Also, new changes were introduced to determine the frequency and kind of homework assigned to students by teachers. This had a major impact on education quality. Teachers in America, Europe, and other parts of the world converted homework to be a compulsory part of learning. It was an important learning activity to enhance a student’s ability to study independently. Previously, homework assigned by teachers had to meet certain criteria. For instance;
- it must be feasible;
- it should not be complex and large;
- It should be assigned after a few concepts have been done to enable the students to work independently.
Learning at home provided impressive results and improved the student’s learning process. More changes are being done on modern educational systems to make homework more beneficial to students.
When was homework invented?
Homework has proved to be effective since it was invented in 1905 by Roberto Nevelis. To make it more efficient, important improvements have already been made on the education systems in different nations. Real developments are already evident in the education sector since homework was invented.
Educators believe that assigning homework to students makes the learning process more efficient. According to the inventors of homework, it’s an important practice to develop the student’s creative imagination, initiative, individuality, and the ability to work independently.
A concentrated integration of learning materials takes place to equip students with more knowledge. However, with time, these concepts are forgotten, and the teacher will be required to repeat the same concept a couple of times. For instance, in Engineering, Computer Science, and Medicine, mastery of scientific concepts require continuous assimilation and comprehension. When students practice the taught topics for a long on their own, they can barely forget the concepts. Homework is, therefore, required to enable the students to do more practice on what they have been taught.
Why is homework important?
Homework is an important activity in the student’s learning process. Experts illustrate that homework is integrated with the subjects to improve the skills, knowledge, and abilities of a certain student. Apart from enabling students to tackle different questions with ease, homework also enables teachers to detect a student’s weaknesses and areas that are difficult for them.
In modern education, homework is important in various ways such as:
- It enables the students to do more practice on topics that they find challenging.
- It sharpens the student’s skills and abilities.
- It enhances parent-child relations and teacher-student relationships.
- It improves the communication between teachers and parents, especially when the teachers are following up on how the students are doing their homework. This is common in essays, discussions, and thesis, and data analysis concepts.
- It enables the students to do more practice and be more prepared during examinations. When taken seriously, homework can lead to an increase in the student’s grades.
- It improves the student’s personal development and enhances peer interactions especially during group discussions.
Memorization is dispersed when there is continuous practice on the subjects being studied. Although not all purposes can be achieved at once, homework equips students with adequate skills that can help them tackle complex exam questions and handle life situations. This is because it develops their creativity and abilities.
Homework greatly influences the success of the teaching practices employed. The organization of homework has been a challenging part of the education and teaching process since it was invented. To tackle them correctly, some concepts require close attention from the teacher. When expounding homework to students, various stages have to be followed to help the learners benefit from the assigned tasks. They are:
- skill formulation and formation
- putting the skills and knowledge into practice
Does homework enhance education quality? What is its role?
The main purpose of homework is to help learners succeed in their studies. The types of homework vary depending on the subject. Each is targeted at improving the studying process, enhancing the quality of learner’s knowledge, and helping students put the acquired knowledge into practice.
Unlike sit-in exams, students have a lot of support from their teachers, peers, and parents while doing their homework. This makes the students have a better understanding of different concepts including the ones they find difficult. Integrating homework in the education systems molds students to become organized and responsible citizens.
Homework should not be taken as a way of punishing students. However, it should be taken as an opportunity that should be exploited to get good grades. When one fails to take homework with seriousness, they deprive themselves of additional study time. It plays an important role in managing learners during their free time.
It keeps them engaged at home and equips them with skills to handle tasks without the teacher’s supervision. From open-ended questions to sophisticated research projects, homework provides an ideal ground to assess and evaluate what the students have understood.