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The History of Homework and Who Invented It


Scientists have had inconclusive debates as to when homework was invented and who are the proponents of homework.  Homework dates to the 16th Century. 

It is hard to say any one person invented homework. However, some sources credit it to three individuals. Some argue that homework was first invented in 1905 by an Italian teacher, Roberto Nevilis, while other sources list Horace Mann, a German politician as the father of modern-day homework. Yet others trace it to an oratory teacher called Pliny the Younger. There are different myths about the inventions of homework.


Who really invented homework? Well, the answer to that question does not mean so much to students and teachers as to whether to do homework or not. In their study concerning homework, some Stanford researchers found out that students are increasingly stressed because of homework. 

Further, some students reported poor health as a result of homework. Little time to spend with friends and friends or engage in hobbies is also a concern of many students. 

Whoever invented homework is loved and hated in equal measure. Counseling psychologists have witnessed an increase in the number of students seeking help because of homework-related stress. 

Homework is an integral part of the students’ academic life. Schools require students to complete their assignments and pose good grades for them to graduate. 

SO, Who Invented Homework?

Some historians trace the origin of homework back to Egypt and Ancient Rome. However, there were no formal schools. Instructors would give their students work to do later at home. However, there is no conclusive evidence about who exactly invented homework.

Roberto Nevilis

Roberto Nevilis, an Italian teacher from Venice's city, is believed to have invented homework in 1905. Disappointed by his student's performance, he thought of how to make them improve. 

He invented homework as a means of punishing his students, whom he presumed to be lazy.

Children were assigned daily chores at home, which occupied most of their time. They preferred engaging in real work- economic activity-  to learning. 

Before World War II, people didn’t take education seriously. Many students would drop out after a few years of schooling. So, Roberto used homework to punish students and force them to take their studies seriously. That school of thought changed a few years later, though. With the emerging challenges of war, there was a need for educated practitioners. 

Horace Mann

Horace Mann is largely associated with the history of homework. His position as a powerful politician in the 19th century saw him bring reforms in the education sector. Horace Mann pioneered the development of public education funded by the government in the United States of America. 

He developed an interest in the system after seeing how the Volksschule system worked during a Germany trip in 1843. Part of the ideas that he borrowed and implemented is homework. 

Pliny the Younger

Pliny, the Younger, encouraged students to exercise public speaking at home. That simple assignment shaped the history of homework. As an oratory teacher, he wanted his students to do more practice. 

Giving homework was his way of ensuring the students got to practice. The rest is history. Schools borrowed the idea of homework, and now students have to do assignments.

History of Homework

Homework was an intrinsic part of learning in the early 20th century. The debate, however, about if or not to give students homework was ongoing. A group opposed to homework saw it abolished around the mid-1930s. 

Many schools abolished it in totality while others abolished it in some grades only. The number of assignments teachers gave to students significantly reduced.  Assignments in lower grades were not tolerated. 

World War II

Power struggles between Russia and America influenced the reintroduction of homework in schools. This time it was intense and rigorous. The U.S. fought hard to be ahead of Russia in Science and Maths by giving many assignments to students of all levels.

Early 21st Century

Educationists and scholars began inquiries on the effects of giving homework on students. They poke holes at the concept, which was hitherto a huge part of learning. Several authors wrote books opposing the system, while others support it. More people started rejecting the idea of homework. 

Although there are contentious issues as far as homework is concerned, it is largely in use today across different countries, sparking different partners' interest in assisting with assignments. Learners can opt to get help with their homework from online experts. This allows them more family time and boosts their grades.

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