The articles covvers a detailed analysis of history of homework and how it evolved over time. It also answer the question: Who Invented Homework?
Everybody who attended formal education can attest to how frustrating it was to get 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?
What is Homework?
Homework can be defined as the various tasks assigned to students by their tutors or teachers based on learned topics. And they are intended to be done after school hours or at home.
These assessments are usually scheduled after school periods to preoccupy students with learning more academic work.
When Was Homework Invented?
Owing to Roberto Nevilis, an Italian pedagog who invented homework, we can notice an obvious improvement in the education system and its efficiency since 1905.
Since the time when homework was invented, there is a real improvement in the education sector.
Educators who adhere to traditional views on the learning process believe that home learning is an essential condition for efficient educational activities.
According to a person who invented homework, it is a way to develop students’ initiative, independence, individuality, and creative imagination.
Apart from the above points, the need for home teaching is determined by the following factors:
- During in-school learning, concentrated assimilation of the studied material takes place. Afterward, the gained knowledge is forgotten. To prevent this forgetting, homework is needed;
- Mastery of scientific concepts requires repeated comprehension and assimilation;
- The thoroughness and strength of the material assimilation being studied is achieved only when its memorization is dispersed;
- Home learning is important for the development of student’s creative talents and abilities.
The success of the teaching depends on the success of homework preparation. This aspect has been considered since the time when was homework invented; the organization of homework is the most difficult thing in the teaching and educational process.
Many aspects of this problem require the closest attention from the tutor.
When elaborating an assignment for children, teachers should realize that the process of educational material assimilation passes through obligatory stages:
- The formulation of the formation of skills
- Application of new knowledge and skills in practice
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 on 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 at 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.
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Types of Homework
Since the time when was homework invented, there were not many types of individual tasks.
Since the person who invented school and homework didn’t have a chance to do enough “testing” in this regards, it was difficult to him to create a formula of effective at-home studying.
Nowadays, teachers involve the following types of homework in the studying process.
- Mastering material under study according to the textbook;
- Performance of oral exercises;
- Performance of written exercises;
- Performance of creative works (essay writing, etc.);
- Preparation of reports on the studied material (coursework writing, etc.);
- Conducting observations and experiments.
Homework in the Post-industrial Revolution
In the post-industrial revolution era that came after World War II, homework has been described as getting students ready for the world of work.
The argument is that schools should prepare students for the working world by teaching them how to work independently and manage their time.
This change in education also responds to the argument that schools are too focused on preparing students academically.
There is an ongoing debate about whether or not this is beneficial, especially in terms of social and emotional development.
The idea that homework is necessary for children to succeed in school and life has never been so popular. But is it really effective?
This ongoing debate has become even more popular due to the advanced technology used in today’s world.
That being said, there are still several people who believe that homework is important and beneficial to students.
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Modern Homework Types
- Individual assignments. These include reading to improve speaking skills and calculations for math practice.
- Projects that students can complete with their parents or teachers available for support and guidance.
- Group projects that require students to work together toward a common goal and share responsibilities.
- Student presentations or completing written reports.
- Tests, quizzes, and midterms are common forms of homework in high school.
- Creative assignments and activities such as designing a poster or skit.
- Some teachers may require students to complete a certain number of written or oral questions on their own.
Who Invented Homework: The Objectives
Let us take a brief look at the objectives with which homework was invented. Invariably, the earliest objective of homework was not to burden students with unnecessary work, but rather to add to their learning.
Some of the objectives include-
Reinforcement of learning
There was a common conception that students seldom paid attention to classwork once they left the premises, An out of sight, out of mind phenomenon was taking place.
In such a situation, students came to class the next day with a clean slate, with almost no connection to the previous class. In such a situation, establishing a connection between lessons of two consecutive days became difficult.
Therefore, the first objective of homework is to reinforce learning. The idea is simple, if students practice what they learn in class, it will establish a strong foundation.
Consequently, students will recall it easily in the next class, facilitating their learning.
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Considerations of Time
Whether desirable or not, each class and lesson with a time limit. This means that a teacher has to complete his or her syllabus within that time frame.
However, at times, some topics and students require more time than that. Inability to dedicate the extra time results in partial learning.
Here comes the second objective for those who created homework. The idea is to encourage students to look back on their lessons and achieve conceptual clarity when they have no time to bind them.
Thus, homework is a way to facilitate learning which is not within the confines of time, like classroom learning.
Practice and Application
In addition to facilitating inter-class linkage from one day to the next, homework also enables practice and application.
There are several facets to this claim. Firstly, in the absence of an obligation, students seldom practice.
Despite the fact that practice has proven time and again its ability to score better grades, it is underutilized by students.
Homework plays an important role in reversing this trend. As a formal obligation, homework encourages students to practice their lessons and learning. Secondly, it also enables students to apply their learning in real life.
Some of the best homework assignments are the ones that require practical application of theory learned in class.
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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.
- skill formulation and formation
- putting the skills and knowledge into practice
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Homework: Pros and Cons
The arguments for and against the significance of homework are continuously being made.
Some people believe that homework is necessary for students to succeed in school and help them become better prepared for the working world.
However, several people argue that homework is not beneficial and can be harmful to students if it is too overwhelming. Let’s explore both sides of the argument.
Benefits of Homework
- A good homework assignment helps students remember what they learn in school.
- When students can review their classwork at home, it can help improve scores on tests and other assignments and better understand the lesson.
- Homework can also help parents and teachers see where their children may be struggling and work with them to improve. This can be especially helpful for students who have trouble adjusting to a new school, teacher, or learning style.
- Seeking homework help from family members enables students to create a stronger bond with their loved ones.
- Giving homework helps teachers to hit their school calendar targets faster and accelerates the learning process.
- Some parents see the benefit of homework, including the fact that it helps foster responsibility and accountability.
- Every parent wants to give their child the best education possible, so many of them may see homework as an investment in their child’s future.
- Teachers assign homework so that students can learn independently. Teachers hope that this will create self-motivated learners who can manage their time and work efficiently.
- The idea behind homework is that students can learn essential skills, such as good study habits and organization. The educational process benefits continue beyond school.
Those who are anti-homework have their valid reasons, which include:
- Homework assignments can be stressful to students who do not have access to a quiet place to study.
- Too much homework can cause children to have little time for fun, making them stressed out and unhappy. It can translate to child labor if not regulated.
- It has also been linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety.
- Homework can be overwhelming and frustrating to students who do not understand the assignment or struggle with a subject.
- When kids are always doing homework, they are missing out on valuable family time.
- Homework might not be beneficial to students with learning disabilities, especially if there’s no one to help them.
- Most parents don’t have time to help their kids with homework, leaving them feeling guilty. The children also feel neglected and unimportant.
- Some teachers use homework to evade responsibility on their part. They leave students to figure out issues on their own then don’t bother to revise or check.
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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.
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1. Did Roberto nevilis invent homework?
No credible news source or website has ever mentioned the name Roberto Nevilis as the person who invented homework. In fact, it’s possible that Nevilis never even existed.
2. What is the history of homework?
Despite its political origins, the system of bringing school assignments home spread across Europe and eventually found their way to Horace Mann, who was in Prussia at that time. He brought the system home with him to America where homework became a daily activity in the lives of students.
3. Is homework an effective way of teaching?
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.
4. Why did Horace Mann invent homework?
While homework had been invented before Fichte’s involvement with the Volksschulen, his political aims can be seen as a catalyst for the institution of homework as an educational essential. Horace Mann spearheaded the development of government-regulated, tax-funded public education in the United States.