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Who invented homework?

Who invented homework?

Probably every 5th student (or every other?..) says he/she hates doing homework and it’s a much better option to hang out with friends or peer in a computer or TV. Sounds great, but aside from entertainment you’re supposed to study, aren’t you? That’s out of question, the truly interesting thing is: does homework help to study, or, on the contrary, is it a waste of time and nerves? Check how to lessen homework stress, by the way. Do you know who invented homework and why? Calm down, that happened long time ago and you have no possibility for revenge :0

Some scientists believe that Roberto Nevilis, a school teacher from Venice, Italy, started homework in 1095. However, most probably home tasks in this or that form were present as long as there’s education and school, which means the problem in question goes back to Ancient Greece and even earlier times. Imagine Pythagoras giving his students a home task to find a couple of new Pythagorean triples?

The first mentions of homework assignments belong to the era of ancient Rome. They are found in the first century AD in the works of Quintilian, teacher of Pliny Junior, on oratory. This is how teacher’s assignment looked like in ancient Egyptian school:

Ancient homework

In the 17th century educator and pedagogue John Amos Comenius substantiated the need for class-lesson training system. And with the introduction of it homework has become an indispensable element of the educational process. Throughout the 19-20 centuries and till now homework remained a subject of debate. So, fairly enough, he may be considered as the father of modern homework:

John Amos Comenius

He didn’t like students cheating, hehe. You’ll probably be surprised, but there was not always so much homework. For example, according to Wikipedia, historically, homework was frowned upon by American culture. Because in those times there was high necessity in completing daily chores, homework was discouraged not only by parents, but also by school districts. Back in 1901, the California legislature passed an act that effectively abolished homework for those who attended kindergarten through the eighth grade. Sadly enough for millions of schoolers, in 1950’s, homework made a resurgence, and in the early 1990’s, the consensus in American education was to assign homework to students of all grade levels.

In 2007 researches of University of Michigan conducted a study and concluded that the amount of homework given is increasing over time. Analyzing a sample taken of students between the ages of 6 and 9, scientists have shown that students spend more than two hours a week on homework, compared to 44 minutes in 1981.

Now it’s clear that homework is bothering students for ages. And we’ve also found out that there were better no-homework times. Naturally, the question arises: do we need homework? Maybe, it’s time to get rid of it and ban homework? Let’s see. The main idea of homework is to repeat and straighten the material you’ve obtained in class, so that you can’t forget everything after crossing the threshold of a classroom. So, given you get all the information and drills in class, there would be no need for homework. Besides, recent education reform in China allows no written homework in primary schools.

Don’t pack your things yet, this doesn’t mean children are given no assignments. The main point is to move the emphasis from written tasks to other activities. Maybe Finland is a better option in this case, as there is really no homework. But does this work, if we speak of further study and future career? Well, apparently yes! High school graduation rate in Finland is at 93 percent, compared to 78 percent in Canada and 75 % in the US. Two of three students in Finland go to college, which is the highest rate among the European countries.

While educators are debating, students in UK and US and all over the globe are still given homework, so apparently there’s no way to  avoid it completely. Frankly speaking, doing homework is not always fun, but, well, try to consider, say, solving trig equations as if you’re doing crossword puzzle or playing Sudoku. And if nothing works out for you, there’s always Assignment Expert to save you from homework troubles. Assign us to do homework, we help.


  • Eragon

    do you know about the ten minute rule

  • Its look like we haven’t any info about Roberto Nevilis. Only posts about homework inventor.

  • well..it seems more like the post is about the history of ‘homework’ and it’s not certain Roberto Nevilis is the one who invented homework

  • since i do not have possibility of revenge i have to sit, cry, ask for homework help and do homework :c