The Big Question: Who Invented Homework?

who invented homework first

Crystal Bourque

who invented homework first

Love it or hate it, homework is part of student life.

But what’s the purpose of completing these tasks and assignments? And who would create an education system that makes students complete work outside the classroom?

This post contains everything you’ve ever wanted to know about homework. So keep reading! You’ll discover the answer to the big question: who invented homework?

The Inventor of Homework

The myth of roberto nevilis: who is he, the origins of homework, a history of homework in the united states, 5 facts about homework, types of homework.

  • What’s the Purpose of Homework? 
  • Homework Pros
  • Homework Cons

When, How, and Why was Homework Invented?

who invented homework

Daniel Jedzura/

To ensure we cover the basics (and more), let’s explore when, how, and why was homework invented.

As a bonus, we’ll also cover who invented homework. So get ready because the answer might surprise you!

It’s challenging to pinpoint the exact person responsible for the invention of homework.

For example, Medieval Monks would work on memorization and practice singing. Ancient philosophers would read and develop their teachings outside the classroom. While this might not sound like homework in the traditional form we know today, one could argue that these methods helped to form the basic structure and format.

So let’s turn to recorded history to try and identify who invented homework and when homework was invented.

Pliny the Younger

who made homework


We can trace the term ‘homework’ back to ancient Rome. Pliny the Younger (61—112 CE), an oratory teacher, often told his students to practice their public speaking outside class.

Pliny believed that the repetition and practice of speech would help students gain confidence in their speaking abilities.

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

who invented homework first


Before the idea of homework came to the United States, Germany’s newly formed nation-state had been giving students homework for years.

It wasn’t until German Philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762—1814) helped to develop the Volksschulen (People’s Schools) that homework became mandatory.

Fichte believed that the state needed to hold power over individuals to create a unified Germany. A way to assert control over people meant that students attending the Volksshulen were required to complete assignments at home on their own time.

As a result, some people credit Fichte for being the inventor of homework.

Horace Mann

roberto nevilis


The idea of homework spread across Europe throughout the 19th century.

So who created homework in the United States?

Horace Mann (1796—1859), an American educational reformer, spent some time in Prussia. There, he learned more about Germany’s Volksshulen and homework practices.

Mann liked what he saw and brought this system back to America. As a result, homework rapidly became a common factor in students’ lives across the country.

who invented homework first


If you’ve ever felt curious about who invented homework, a quick online search might direct you to a man named Roberto Nevilis, a teacher in Venice, Italy.

As the story goes, Nevilis invented homework in 1905 (or 1095) to punish students who didn’t demonstrate a good understanding of the lessons taught during class.

This teaching technique supposedly spread to the rest of Europe before reaching North America.

Unfortunately, there’s little truth to this story. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that these online sources lack credible sources to back up this myth as fact.

In 1905, the Roman Empire turned its attention to the First Crusade. No one had time to spare on formalizing education, and classrooms didn’t even exist. So how could Nevilis spread the idea of homework when education remained so informal?

And when you jump to 1901, you’ll discover that the government of California passed a law banning homework for children under fifteen. Nevilis couldn’t have invented homework in 1905 if this law had already reached the United States in 1901.

what is homework

Inside Creative House/

When it comes to the origins of homework, looking at the past shows us that there isn’t one person who created homework. Instead, examining the facts shows us that several people helped to bring the idea of homework into Europe and then the United States.

In addition, the idea of homework extends beyond what historians have discovered. After all, the concept of learning the necessary skills human beings need to survive has existed since the dawn of man.

More than 100 years have come and gone since Horace Mann introduced homework to the school system in the United States.

Therefore, it’s not strange to think that the concept of homework has changed, along with our people and culture.

In short, homework hasn’t always been considered acceptable. Let’s dive into the history or background of homework to learn why.

Homework is Banned! (The 1900s)

Important publications of the time, including the Ladies’ Home Journal and The New York Times, published articles on the negative impacts homework had on American children’s health and well-being.

As a result, California banned homework for children under fifteen in 1901. This law, however, changed again about a decade later (1917).

Children Needed at Home (The 1930s)

Formed in 1923, The American Child Health Association (ACHA) aimed to decrease the infant mortality rate and better support the health and development of the American child.

By the 1930s, ACHA deemed homework a form of child labor. Since the government recently passed laws against child labor , it became difficult to justify homework assignments.

who invented homework and why

Studio Romantic/

A Shift in Ideas (The 1940s—1950s)

During the early to mid-1900s, the United States entered the Progressive Era. As a result, the country reformed its education system to help improve students’ learning.

Homework became a part of everyday life again. However, this time, the reformed curriculum required teachers to make the assignments more personal.

As a result, students would write essays on summer vacations and winter breaks, participate in ‘show and tell,’ and more.

These types of assignments still exist today!

Homework Today (The 2000s)

In 2022, the controversial nature of homework is once again a hot topic of discussion in many classrooms.

According to one study , more than 60% of college and high school students deal with mental health issues like depression and anxiety due to homework. In addition, the large number of assignments given to students takes away the time students spend on other interests and hobbies. Homework also negatively impacts sleep.

As a result, some schools have implemented a ban or limit on the amount of homework assigned to students.

Test your knowledge and check out these other facts about homework:

  • Horace Mann is also known as the ‘father’ of the modern school system (read more about it here ).
  • With a bit of practice, homework can improve oratory and writing skills. Both are important in a student’s life at all stages.
  • Homework can replace studying. Completing regular assignments reduces the time needed to prepare for tests.
  • Homework is here to stay. It doesn’t look like teachers will stop assigning homework any time soon. However, the type and quantity of homework given seems to be shifting to accommodate the modern student’s needs.
  • The optimal length of time students should spend on homework is one to two hours. Students who spent one to two hours on homework per day scored higher test results.

who created homework

Ground Picture/

The U.S. Department of Education provides teachers with plenty of information and resources to help students with homework.

In general, teachers give students homework that requires them to employ four strategies. The four types of homework types include:

  • Practice: To help students master a specific skill, teachers will assign homework that requires them to repeat the particular skill. For example, students must solve a series of math problems.
  • Preparation: This type of homework introduces students to the material they will learn in the future. An example of preparatory homework is assigning students a chapter to read before discussing the contents in class the next day.
  • Extension: When a teacher wants to get students to apply what they’ve learned but create a challenge, this type of homework is assigned. It helps to boost problem-solving skills. For example, using a textbook to find the answer to a question gets students to problem-solve differently.
  • Integration: To solidify the learning experience for students, teachers will create a task that requires the use of many different skills. An example of integration is a book report. Completing integration homework assignments help students learn how to be organized, plan, strategize, and solve problems on their own.

Ultimately, the type of homework students receive should have a purpose, be focused and clear, and challenge students to problem solve while integrating lessons learned.

What’s the Purpose of Homework?

who invented school homework

LightField Studios/

Homework aims to ensure students understand the information they learn in class. It also helps teachers to assess a student’s progress and identify strengths and weaknesses.

For example, teachers use different types of homework like book reports, essays, math problems, and more to help students demonstrate their understanding of the lessons learned.

Does Homework Improve the Quality of Education?

Homework is a controversial topic today. Educators, parents, and even students often question whether homework is beneficial in improving the quality of education.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of homework to try and determine whether homework improves the quality of education in schools.

Homework Pros:

  • Time Management Skills : Assigning homework with a due date helps students to develop a schedule to ensure they complete tasks on time.
  • More Time to Learn : Students encounter plenty of distractions at school. It’s also challenging for students to grasp the material in an hour or less. Assigning homework provides the student the opportunity to understand the material.
  • Improves Research Skills : Some homework assignments require students to seek out information. Through homework, students learn where to seek out good, reliable sources.

Homework Cons:

  • Reduced Physical Activity : Homework requires students to sit at a desk for long periods. Lack of movement decreases the amount of physical activity, often because teachers assign students so much homework that they don’t have time for anything else.
  • Stuck on an Assignment: A student often gets stuck on an assignment. Whether they can’t find information or the correct solution, students often don’t have help from parents and require further support from a teacher.
  • Increases Stress : One of the results of getting stuck on an assignment is that it increases stress and anxiety. Too much homework hurts a child’s mental health, preventing them from learning and understanding the material.

Some research shows that homework doesn’t provide educational benefits or improve performance.

However, research also shows that homework benefits students—provided teachers don’t give them too much. Here’s a video from Duke Today that highlights a study on the very topic.

Homework Today

Maybe one day, students won’t need to submit assignments or complete tasks at home. But until then, many students understand the benefits of completing homework as it helps them further their education and achieves future career goals.

Before you go, here’s one more question: how do you feel about homework? Do you think teachers assign too little or too much? Get involved and start a discussion in the comments!

The picture on the front page: Evgeny Atamanenko/

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who invented homework first

Homework is a part of life for children, parents, and educators. But who came up with the concept of homework? What happened to make it a standard in education? Here’s a quick rundown of homework’s history in the United States .

Homework’s Origins: Myth vs. History

Who was the first person to invent homework? We may never know for sure. Its history has been shaped by a variety of persons and events. Let’s start with two of its key influencers.

The Dubious Roberto Nevelis of Venice

Homework is typically credited to Roberto Nevelis of Venice, Italy, who invented it in 1095—or 1905, depending on your sources. However, upon closer examination, he appears to be more of an internet legend than a genuine figure.

Horace Mann

Horace Mann, a 19th-century politician and educational reformer, was a pivotal figure in the development of homework. Mann, like his contemporaries Henry Barnard and Calvin Ellis Stowe, was passionate about the newly unified nation-state of Germany’s obligatory public education system.

Mandatory tasks were assigned to Volksschulen (“People’s Schools”) students to complete at home on their own time. When liberals like Johann Gottlieb Fichte were striving to organize support for a unified German state, this demand highlighted the state’s authority over the individual. While homework had been established before Fichte’s participation with the Volksschulen, his political goals can be considered a catalyst for its adoption as an educational requirement.

Horace Mann was a driving force behind creating government-run, tax-funded public education in America. During a journey to Germany in 1843, he witnessed the Volkschule system at work and brought back several of its ideals, including homework.

The American Public School System’s Homework

Homework has not always been generally embraced, despite being a near-universal element of the American educational experience. Parents and educators continue to dispute its benefits and drawbacks, as they have for more than a century.

The 1900s: Anti-homework sentiment and homework bans

A homework prohibition was enacted in the Pacific state of California in 1901, barely a few decades after the idea of homework crossed the Atlantic. The restriction, which applied to all students under the age of 15, lasted until 1917.

Around the same period, renowned magazines such as the Ladies’ Home Journal and The New York Times published remarks from parents and medical professionals portraying homework as harmful to children’s health.1930: Homework as Child Labor

A group called the American Child Health Association deemed homework a form of child labor in 1930. This statement represented a less-than-favorable view of homework as an appropriate educational method, given that laws barring child labor had recently been implemented.

Early-to-Mid 20th Century: Homework and the Progressive Era

Teachers began looking for ways to make homework more personal and meaningful to individual students throughout the second half of the 19th and 20th-century modern educational changes. Could this be the origin of the enduring essay topic, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation?”

The Cold War: Homework Heats Up

Following WWII, the Cold War heightened tensions between the United States and Russia in the 1950s. The flight of Sputnik 1 in 1957 increased Russian-American enmity, particularly among their youngsters.

The best way to ensure that American students did not fall behind their Russian counterparts, especially in the extremely competitive fields of science and mathematics, was for education officials in the United States to assign demanding homework.

The 1980s: A Nation at Risk’s Homework

What Works, a 1986 publication from the US Department of Education, listed homework as one of the most effective instructional tactics. This followed three years after the groundbreaking study 

Early 21st Century: Homework Bans Return

Many educators and other concerned individuals are questioning the value of homework once again. On the subject, several publications have been published.

These include:

  • The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It  by Sarah Bennett and Nancy Kalish (2006)
  • The Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents  (Third Edition) by Duke University psychologist Dr. Harris Cooper (2007)
  • The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning  by education professor Dr. Etta Kralovec and journalist John Buell (2000)

Homework is still a contentious topic nowadays. Some schools are enacting homework bans similar to those enacted at the start of the century. Teachers have varying opinions on the bans, while parents attempt to cope with the disruption to their daily routine that such bans cause.

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Debunking the Myth of Roberto Nevilis: Who Really Invented Homework?

  • By Emily Summers
  • February 18, 2019

For those of us who have attended a formal education setting, you might remember the frustration of getting homework from most of your teachers. Before class ends, your teacher instructs your class to answer a certain page of your book or to write an essay about the topic you had just discussed.

Some of us really didn’t like doing homework. It was very time-consuming and, on top of extra-curricular activities, house chores, and other tasks you needed to do, you had very little time to yourself and your hobbies before having to go to sleep.

If you’ve ever been curious enough to find out who to thank for inventing homework, Google and several websites will tell you that it’s a man named Roberto Nevilis. That he invented homework as a form of punishment for underperforming students and, almost a thousand years later, billions of students are frustrated both at school and at home because of him.

But that, like a lot of things on the internet, simply isn’t true. In fact, Roberto Nevilis doesn’t even exist.

Who Invented Homework? Not Roberto Nevilis.

The nail in the coffin, a brief history on the education system, the father of modern homework, is homework still effective.

Online, there are many articles claiming that Roberto Nevilis was the first educator who came up with giving students homework. But if you look at the websites that claim this, you’ll find that it’s mostly forum websites or obscure educational blogs. No credible website or news source even mentions the name Roberto Nevilis. And for a guy who has affected the educational career of anyone who has had a formal education, you’d think a credible website would mention him at least once. Or some of the less-credible websites would confirm his contribution without saying the word “allegedly” or a vague “scientists believe” or the like.

Roberto Nevilis

Nevilis was supposedly a teacher based in Venice, Italy when he invented homework. Some claim that he invented it in 1095, while others claim he invented it in 1905 before it spread to Europe and to the rest of the world. It was said to be a form of punishment for students who underperformed in class. Students who performed well in class were spared from homework.

Either way, this claim is dubious. In 1095, education was still very informal around Europe and an organized education system in the continent didn’t start until 800 years later. In the 1500’s, English nobility were still being taught by private tutors.

Around 1095, the Roman Empire had long fallen and the Pope was still organizing the very first crusade and education was still informal, so it would be impossible for Nevilis to not only hold a class and give out homework, but to also spread out his idea to the rest of Europe when there was still no organized educational system.

And it couldn’t have been 1905, either. In 1901, California passed an act that banned homework for students younger than 15 years old before the law was revoked in 1917. That means Nevilis – assuming he does exists and isn’t the work of some internet trolls – couldn’t have invented it in 1905 in Europe if it already made its way to California and probably the rest of the world four years earlier.

And if that’s not enough evidence, just take a look at all the information you can get on him online. The only websites that mention his name: Quora, WikiAnswers, clickbait articles, and blogs for websites that help you write your homework (though if they can’t do their research properly, you might want to stay away from their services).

There’s no credible website mentioning him anywhere. And the websites that do mention him are very vague in describing his contribution. “Scientists believe” becomes a very sketchy claim when a website doesn’t cite a credible source. And if you try to search “Roberto Nevilis,” only the same handful of websites show up.

The truth is, homework existed dating back to the earliest civilizations and the first forms of education. In feudal times, education was reserved for the wealthy men. Those who weren’t rich had no time to study reading or philosophy and were busy making a living. Wealthy young women were trained in the more womanly arts, though princesses and nobles were expected to know a few things and were tutored as well. While they weren’t given workbooks and links to online quizzes, their tutors had expected them to read literary pieces during their free time.


The earliest evidence of a formal school comes from the Sumerian civilization. They had Edubas, which were houses of clay tablets were scribes practiced how to read and write. Archaeologists found student exercises etched into the tablets. Not much is known if they followed a schedule or were all taught by one teacher like the education system today.

During these times, however, homework did not involve answering questions or writing down essays as we’ve come to know it today. If we look back at history, there were other forms of educational methods that students and teachers at the time would have considered the homework of their time.

While we can’t pin the invention of homework to a certain teacher, we can trace back who was responsible for making homework that way it is to this day: Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a German philosopher known as the founding father of German nationalism.

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

In 1814, Prussia had a problem stirring nationalism among its citizens. Instead of serving the country after the war, citizens could choose to go back to whatever they were doing without thinking of dedicating their time and sacrifice to the country. There was no sense of pride or nationalism.

And so, Fichte conceived the Volkschule – a mandatory nine-year education similar to primary and lower secondary education provided by the state – and a Realschule – a secondary school available to aristocrats. Those attending the Volkschule were given the homework we know today as a way to demonstrate the state’s power even during personal time.

The system spread across Europe, but not in a totally dominating way. Some countries continued with their own system, which is why countries such as Finland don’t impose homework on their students. However, in 1843, back when the United States still practiced private tutors or informal lessons, Horace Mann reformed public education after travelling to Prussia and saw their education system and adapted it into the American education system. Thus, homework eventually evolved into a global practice.

Homework, therefore, is the result of nationalism and getting students to understand that “me time” actually falls on government time if they want to get their education. Contrary to what many websites would say, it wasn’t invented as a punishment for academically failing students.

However, over 200 years had passed since homework’s evolution into what we know it is today. So, is it still necessary to keep our students burdened with extra assignments? On one hand, it can be a good way to teach students time management skills. We like to think that work stays at work and personal life stays out of work, but as working adults, we know this is not the case. Homework at an early age teaches students to use their time wisely.

And while homework can still be helpful in students’ education, it’s only helpful to a certain extent. When plenty of teachers pile on homework, they’re depriving students of time to focus on their extra-curricular activities and personal life.


For those of us who have graduated with high grades, we’ve learned the hard way that a spotless report card can get our foot on the door, but if we have poor interpersonal skills and lack the skills you can only get outside of academics, you can’t achieve total success. Homework is good, but only to an extent. Then, it just becomes an unnecessary burden on students.

In fact, if you look at Finland and Japan – countries that don’t practice giving out homework – you can see that homework is unnecessary if the educational system favors it. Finland has shorter school days, longer summer breaks, and have an educational system where students aren’t required to start school until the age of seven. However, their students have always ranked high in terms of exams.

It’s because in Finland, a teaching career is at the same league as doctors and lawyers. Compare that to our current education system, where teachers are underappreciated and harried in public schools. Finland’s education system allows students more leeway, showing how it is possible to produce bright students without putting too much pressure on them.

We’ve all been frustrated with homework back when we were studying, but homework is actually more than just a nuisance we all have to face in our educational career. It’s actually an important factor which can shape productivity and the time students have for other factors of their education.

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Emily summers.

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Who Really Invented Homework

Origin and Death of Inventor of Homework: Roberto Nevilis

Roberto Nevilis

Homework is a staple of the modern education system, but few people know the story of its origin.

The inventor of homework is widely considered to be Roberto Nevilis, an Italian educator who lived in the early 20th century.

We will briefly explore Nevilis’ life, how he came up with the concept of homework, and the circumstances surrounding his death.

Roberto Nevilis: The Man Behind Homework Roberto Nevilis was born in Venice, Italy, in 1879. He was the son of a wealthy merchant and received a private education.

He later studied at the University of Venice, where he received a degree in education. After graduation, Nevilis worked as a teacher in various schools in Venice.

Table of Contents

How Homework was Born

The Birth of Homework According to historical records, Nevilis was frustrated with the lack of discipline in his classroom. He found that students were often too focused on playing and not enough on learning.

To solve this problem , he came up with the concept of homework. Nevilis assigned his students homework to reinforce the lessons they learned in class and encourage them to take their education more seriously.

How did homework become popular?

The Spread of Homework , The idea of homework quickly caught on, and soon other teachers in Italy followed Nevilis’ lead. From Italy, the practice of assigning homework spread to other European countries and, eventually, the rest of the world.

Today, homework is a standard part of the education system in almost every country, and millions of students worldwide spend countless hours each week working on homework assignments.

How did Roberto Nevilis Die

Death of Roberto Nevilis The exact circumstances surrounding Nevilis’ death are unknown. Some reports suggest that he died in an accident, while others claim he was murdered.

However, the lack of concrete evidence has led to numerous theories and speculation about what happened to the inventor of homework.

Despite the mystery surrounding his death, Nevilis’ legacy lives on through his impact on education.

Facts about Roberto Nevilis

  • He is credited with inventing homework to punish his students who misbehaved in class.
  • Some accounts suggest he was a strict teacher who believed in disciplining his students with homework.
  • There is little concrete evidence to support the claim that Nevilis was the true inventor of homework.
  • Some historians believe that the concept of homework has been around for much longer than in the 1900s.
  • Despite the lack of evidence, Roberto Nevilis remains a popular figure in the history of education and is often cited as the inventor of homework.

Conclusion – Who invented homework, and how did he die

Roberto Nevilis was a visionary educator who profoundly impacted the education system. His invention of homework has changed how students learn and has helped countless students worldwide improve their education.

Although the circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, Nevilis’ legacy as the inventor of homework will never be forgotten.

How do I make myself do my homework?

What is Roberto Nevilis’ legacy?

Roberto Nevilis’ legacy is his invention of homework, which has changed how students learn and has helped countless students worldwide improve their education.

Despite the mystery surrounding his death, Nevilis’ legacy as the inventor of homework will never be forgotten.

What was Roberto Nevilis’ background?

Roberto Nevilis was the son of a wealthy merchant and received a private education. He later studied at the University of Venice, where he received a degree in education.

After graduation, Nevilis worked as a teacher in various schools in Venice.

What was Roberto Nevilis’ impact on education?

Roberto Nevilis’ invention of homework has had a profound impact on education. By assigning homework, he helped students reinforce the lessons they learned in class and encouraged them to take their education more seriously.

This concept has spread worldwide and is now a staple of the modern education system.

Is there any evidence to support the theories about Roberto Nevilis’ death?

There is no concrete evidence to support the theories about Roberto Nevilis’ death, and the exact circumstances surrounding his death remain a mystery.

What was Roberto nevilis age?

It is believed that he died of old age. Not much information is available on his exact age at the time of death.

Where is Roberto Nevilis’s grave

While many have tried to find out about his Grave, little is known about where he is buried. Many people are querying the internet about his Grave. But frankly, I find it weird why people want to know this.

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Who Invented Homework?

Homework is the bane of all students’ existence, and something they’ve tried to get out of more than once. Almost no one likes doing it, so who invented homework in the first place, and why?

It’s almost universally acknowledged that Roberto Nevilis was the first to issue homework to his students. He was teaching in Venice around 1095. However, he may not have been the actual first teacher to use it.

As long as there’s been education, there’s probably been homework. Experts agree that teachers in Ancient Rome almost certainly handed out homework to their students. There’s even evidence that it was given out in Ancient Rome. Quintilian, the teacher of Pliny the Younger, mentions homework in his works on education. There’s even been stone tablets uncovered that show assignments from teachers.

Today’s students will be surprised that homework used to be frowned upon, especially in the United States. This was because before the Second World War, children were needed to help out with chores around the home. Being given homework meant they weren’t available to complete essential tasks for their parents. It was so frowned upon, in fact, that a law passed in California in 1901 banned all homework for kindergartners all the way up to eighth graders.

The reason this changed was because of the Cold War in the 1950’s. There was a need for more highly educated students, especially those in the sciences. Homework was again assigned to help bring them up to speed on the essential subjects. Of course, the 1950’s saw a lot of societal upheaval after the World Wars. Children were no longer expected to work, and the family unit again became close knit as the fathers came back home. Ever since then, homework has been a staple of the education system.

So, did Nevilis know what he was doing when he started the tradition of homework, all those years ago? He probably didn’t expect today’s students to be carrying such a heavy workload home with them. Today’s children are doing two hours of homework a week, compared to the 44 minutes they would do in 1981.

Do children need to be doing homework at all? Opinion is divided, depending on which country you live in. People who want to abolish homework point to Finland, where homework never happens. They have a high school graduation rate of 93%, as opposed to 73% in the US. Two out of three students go on to college, too.

Whether homework is helpful or not, for now at least it’s here to stay. It’s a concept that has survived centuries in the educational world, and is known to help learning in some cases. It’s no consolation to students though, who need to finish their math problems before they can go play.

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Who invented school, is homework harmful or helpful, learning management software or lms trends that schools should know.

I am an 8th grader with the insane ambition to try and ban homework at my school, and I just wanted to let you know that your article was extremely helpful to me and unbiased at the same time. Just the beautifully written cherry on top that I needed for this proposal. Whether or not it is a success, thank you very much for choosing to write about this topic. I hope to get to read some of your other articles even though a year has passed! 🙂

“I am so grateful for your blog post.Thanks Again. Really Great.”

Let’s take Finland as a bright example of a country that successfully refused of assigning homework to schoolers. They do not do homework, just think about it, not looking for homework helpers or smth else.It shows that not doing homework doesn’t prevent you from going to college and getting a decent job. Every two of three Finnish students go to college and it’s the best index in Europe.

Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

thanks to Roberto Nevilis students don’t have any free time!

I agree with you

I was just looking at your Who Invented Homework? – Simple Grad site and see that your website has the potential to become very popular.

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Who Invented Homework? The History Of A School Staple

who invented homework

Homework is a daily part of life for students around the world. But who made homework? Who was the genius behind this after-school routine? Let’s dive into the history and origins of homework to uncover how it became such an established part of education systems.

Table of Contents

An introduction to homework.

  • Defining Homework Through The Years – Who Made Homework
  • The True Origins Of Homework – Debunking The Myths

The Rise Of Homework In The Late 19th Century

Evolution of homework in the 20th century, debate around homework today, how homework became a school staple.

Homework, simply defined, is any work or tasks assigned by teachers to students that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours.

This generally includes tasks like reading, writing, problem-solving, projects, and other activities related to a student’s studies. Homework is assigned to reinforce concepts learned in class, prepare students for upcoming lessons, establish discipline and self-study habits, and more.

While homework is now a universal school staple, its origins may surprise you. Who created homework? This is a question every student wonders. Many assume it has always been a part of education, but the true history shows homework is a relatively modern invention within schools.

Defining Homework Through The Years – Who Made Homework

The concept of homework has evolved as education philosophies changed. Some of the earliest definitions and uses of “homework” include:

  • In the 1880s, homework began being assigned in urban public schools in the U.S. to keep the idle hands of working-class immigrant children occupied after school. It was meant to teach discipline, not reinforce learning.
  • By the early 1900s, homework was assigned to emulate the study habits of private school students. The amount of homework increased to differentiate public school education from just childcare.
  • In the 1950s, homework was used as a tool for American students to outperform Russian students in math and science during the Cold War era. More homework meant more learning.
  • Today, homework focuses on practicing skills, preparing for lessons, extending learning, and developing responsibility. It also allows teachers to individualize instruction based on a student’s needs.

As you can see, the purpose and definition of homework have changed significantly from its early origins to match shifting educational priorities over the decades.

The True Origins Of Homework – Debunking The Myths

Many assume that homework has always been a part of formal schooling, but its origins are more modern than commonly believed. Here are some of the most pervasive myths about homework’s origins:

  • Myth : Homework has been assigned since the earliest days of formal schooling in ancient civilizations like India and China. Fact: There is little to no evidence of homework being assigned routinely in ancient schools. Students generally spent their entire day in school with little assigned work outside of it.
  • Myth: Homework became common in the 19th-century one-room schoolhouse model in America and other Western nations. Fact: One-room schoolhouses rarely assigned homework. It was not until the late 1800s in big cities that homework started being used to occupy immigrant children’s time after school.
  • Myth: Homework was invented by Horace Mann in the 1830s/40s to help establish public education in the U.S. Fact: While Mann advocated for public schools, there is no record of him inventing or promoting homework. It did not become standard practice until decades later. So, the question remains: who invented school homework? Well, there is no one-word answer.

As you can see, the widespread belief that homework has always existed is false. Its true origins were much more recent and rooted in changing social factors rather than ancient education traditions.

So if homework was not a staple of ancient or one-room schooling, when and why did it emerge? The true origins of routine homework can be traced back to late 19th-century urban public schools in major cities like Boston and New York City.

During this era, large numbers of poor immigrant children flooded public school systems. Teachers struggled with overcrowded classrooms and keeping order. To combat these issues, administrators began assigning homework as a way to keep children occupied and out of trouble after school.

Homework served as a form of quasi-childcare rather than academic reinforcement. It helped enforce discipline and routine for these large groups of students from varied backgrounds. Assigning homework also allowed schools to take on more students within the existing school day structure.

This new routine homework approach soon spread to other large public school districts across the U.S. and began establishing homework as a standard part of the school experience. While controversial at first, it became widely adopted by the early 20th century.

After taking root in the late 1800s, homework continued evolving its purpose and role within schools throughout the 20th century:

In the early 1900s, the amount of homework increased to differentiate public education from just childcare. It aimed to emulate the study habits of private school students. During World War I, homework helped address teacher shortages by extending learning outside of limited school hours. Its reinforcement function grew in importance. The 1950s Cold War era brought about a major surge in homework to help American students outperform their Russian counterparts in STEM fields. The “No Homework” movement arose in the late 1950s/60s as critics said it burdened students and families. Some districts experimented with less or no homework policies. By the 1980s, homework had re-solidified as a core part of education, focusing on skills practice, preparation, and responsibility development.

As you can see, homework’s role evolved from childcare to academic reinforcement to competition and back again over the last century before cementing its modern functions.

Even now, homework remains a controversial topic debated by parents, students, and educators:

  • Supporters argue it reinforces learning, develops responsibility, and allows individual practice. It also keeps parents engaged in their child’s education.
  • Critics counter that it places undue stress on students and families. It may reduce the free time needed for other activities or just relaxing. Excessive homework can diminish its effectiveness, and might even make someone pay for homework .
  • Studies show mixed results on homework’s academic benefits depending on age, subject area, and amount assigned. Too much homework can become counterproductive.
  • A balanced approach focusing on purposeful assignments, clear communication, and moderation is favored by many experts over no or excessive homework policies.

As with many education issues, reasonable opinions exist on both sides. Ongoing research and adapting to changing times ensures homework’s role remains optimized to support students’ development.

To conclude, while now taken for granted, homework was a relatively modern invention within education. Emerging in the late 1800s, it served to occupy immigrant children and enforce discipline rather than reinforce academics. Over the 20th century, homework evolved to differentiate public from private schools, address teacher shortages, compete internationally, and develop student responsibility. It was the early educators Horace Mann and Calvin Stowe who invented homework in the United States as a way to keep idle children occupied after school.

Despite some opposition over the decades, homework became firmly entrenched due to these changing needs and priorities within schools. While the debate continues, most agree a balanced approach focused on purposeful practice and moderation is preferable.

Get Homework Help Today!

Whatever your opinion on homework might be, now you know why you have it! And you might have no choice, however you have the choice of seeking outside help. If you’re wondering “can I get help with my homework ?” Yes, you can! In fact you can get it right here. Get in touch with our homework service and you will get the most amazing help ever. No more wasting time on things you don’t like.

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Learn All About Who Invented Homework and Why?

Who Invented Homework and Why

There are some aspects of school life that exist universally. All students, no matter where they are in this world experience them and almost in a similar manner. One such aspect that remains the same across all schools on our planet is homework. For that matter, you will find that the concept of homework continues even up to the college level, much to the dismay of many students.

Who invented homework and why?

It is highly unlikely that there would be a student who would never have wondered who invented homework? But do you really know how homework came into being and what were the real reasons for giving homework to students? If you are curious, this will be an interesting read for you. Find out the history behind homework and the reason why a home assignment was first given and continues to be given even today.

When we search through history for the person who created homework as a concept, several names crop up. The three most prominent among these are — Pliny the Younger, Roberto Nevilis, and Horace Mann.

These three men, from different periods in history, are the ones who made homework an integral part of our education system. All three of them, however, had different reasons for introducing homework.

Many people wonder who invented homework and school. But if you think that the concept of school and homework were introduced together, then that is not true. Because homework came in much after formal schooling has begun in the world.

When was homework invented?

Chronologically speaking, the concept of homework was first introduced by Pliny the Younger. He was a Roman back in the I century AD.  A teacher on the oratory, it was he, who invented homework by asking his followers to perform some activities at home.

His aim was not to use homework as a means of punishment. Rather, his sole purpose to give at-home tasks to his pupils was, to develop their speaking skills and help them be good orators. He wanted them to develop the ability to interact comfortably in an informal setting. When other teachers started seeing the extraordinary results of his approach, they began using it as well.

However, when we delve deeper to find out when was homework invented, the name of Roberto Nevilis prominently pops up. Believed to be an Italian pedagogue, Nevilis is considered to be the one who introduced homework, around 1900-1905, as a means to punish his students. Although, deeper research reveals that it is possible he is just an internet myth.

So exactly who invented school homework and shaped it to be what it is today? Well, the answer is — Horace Mann. But to understand his role in the history of homework one needs to understand the part played by German politicians in introducing homework as a compulsory part of their public education system.

Back in the 19th century, the newly unified Germany was developing its compulsory public education system. The students who attended the people’s schools were handed over mandatory assignments on a daily basis. They were required to finish these assignments at home, in their self-study time. This helped the state to emphasize its power over the citizens.

When all this was happening Horace Mann was in Prussia, closely following the German political circuit and its evolving system of compulsory education. He brought the concept home to America and soon, like the rest of Europe, homework became an inevitable part of students’ lives in the States as well.

Mann eventually led to the development of America’s public education system, which is tax-funded and regulated by the government.

Why was homework invented?

Now that you know who invented homework and when you quite understand the fact that there were several reasons behind introducing it.

Was homework invented as a punishment or was it done with a more educational reason in mind?

Well, for most it was a means to discipline. Where on one hand Pliny the Younger introduced it to help his students in skill-building, Nevilis, Mann, and the Germans used it quite evidently to punish and establish authority.

However, the power play through homework saw immense opposition down the decades, primarily in America, where people began to protest against it through the 19th century.

Who invented homework – History and Fun Facts

Here is some very interesting and fun trivia about homework that you cannot ignore:

  • In 1901, only a few decades after it was introduced there, homework faced a ban in the Pacific state of California. It was put into effect for all students less than 15 years old. The ban continued for the next six years until 1917. The reason cited was the ill-effects of homework on child health.
  • In 1930, homework saw protests from the American Child health Organization that declared it to be a kind of child labor. It protested to make homework an unacceptable practice.
  • During the 1950s when the world saw a cold war between the Americans and the Russians homework again gained popularity. The space wars were on and the Americans did not want their students to lag behind in any way. Homework was seen as a means to build a competitive edge academically, more so, in the fields of mathematics and science.
  • By 1985 the US Department of Education had declared homework to be an effective education strategy which was imperative for education reforms across the country.
  • The 20th century was seen as a progressive era for homework. Teachers found ways to make it interesting, relevant, and personal.
  • Come 21st century and the issues and concerns related to homework returned. Educationists began questioning its value. The world was yet again asking who invented homework for it was facing a ban all over again.

What Is Homework Today?

Over the centuries there have been many developments in the approach taken towards assigning homework by schools. The frequency, type, quantity, and difficulty of homework have all been discussed, reviewed, and scrutinized by educators world over.

Many consider it to be an essential training tool, vital for imparting knowledge and skill. However, there is also space where it threatens to become burdensome, taxing, and exploitative for the students.

Schools are realizing that a great deal of thought has to be given while assigning homework to students. They are now focused on finding a middle path, where homework is given keeping certain key criteria in mind. These include the fact that homework must –

  • Facilitate independent learning
  • Always be feasible for the student
  • Given only once the student has learned to work independently of the teacher or parent
  • Never be too complex and too large to handle

Homework has certainly had a remarkable journey through world history. Even those who invented homework might not have imagined it would become such a matter of debate, transformation, and challenge across the globe.

However, if you are a student struggling with homework, do not feel burdened or challenged by it. Get in touch with us for quick help and advice. Our experienced writers will be happy to assist you through all your assignments, projects, essays, and papers so that you can focus on learning in a stress-free and relaxed manner.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Was homework invented as a punishment.

The person who invented homework originally, Pliny the Younger, actually started it as a method to help his students build their oration skills in a comfortable environment. However, Robert Nevilis established it as a punishment and Horace Mann, as a means to exert control over students’ lives.

Did Roberto Nevilis create the homework assignment?

Robert Nevilis is rumored to be the person who invented homework in modern times. However, there is also a chance that he is a myth. In that case, the inventor of the system of a homework assignment is Horace Mann.

When homework was first invented by Pliny the Younger, it was to help students improve their skills in a less formal environment. Robert Nevilis is said to have started homework to punish students. But the person who invented homework and made it a global system was Horace Mann.

What year was homework invented?

The person credited with introducing the concept of homework, Pliny the Younger, did it sometimes in 1 century AD. Robert Nevilis, the person who invented homework in the modern age, started it around 1900-1905, while Horace Mann, who cemented the place of homework in modern education, did so during and after World War II.

Alexa Donne is an exceptional online writer who is skilled and passionate about her work. She creates high-quality content that captivates the readers’ attention and ensures you get the best grade in your research papers and essays.

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Who Invented School Homework? [When, Where & How]

You can remember just sitting down and doing homework—no worries, no stress, and getting an A on your paper. School was the best time of your life. Ok, maybe that’s not true, but the point is you would always wonder who invented school homework.

The very first homework assignment can be traced all the way back to 1905 when an Italian teacher named Roberto Nevilis first invented the idea. He wanted his students to get used to thinking for themselves, so he gave them assignments that would require them to look up information and use it in their work.

Whether you’re a student trying to get ahead, or a parent wondering about homework for your own children, this article will help you to get a better understanding of the whole story about homework.

Interested in who invented school tests? Let’s find out here.

What Was the Original Purpose of Homework?

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who invented school homework

The person who invented school homework in 1905 is a man named Roberto Nevilis. He created this new way of learning to help students who were struggling with their lessons.

Nevills was passionate about education and had a special interest in how children learn best. He believed that children should be treated as individuals with unique abilities and needs.

He also believed that children should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.

Nevilis realized that some of his students were not getting enough practice at home, so he decided to make a plan that would give them extra practice without them even knowing it.

He made up a booklet of questions for the students to answer about their lessons and gave it to them at the end of each day.

The next morning, he collected the booklets from his students and returned them with corrections and new questions for them to answer during recess.

This system became very popular with teachers all over Europe because it made learning more interesting for both students and teachers alike!

Homework is meant to reinforce what we have already learned during the day.

This can be seen through taking notes in class and then reviewing them after class by doing homework assignments.

This is the reason why many parents are against the idea of giving their children homework.

They believe that if their children did not do their homework, then they should not be punished for it.

The invention of math homework is credited to a man named Roberto Nevilis.

He was born in 1881, and he studied at the University of Rome.

While there, he became interested in mathematics and decided to pursue a career in teaching.

Math homework is a type of assignment that students are required to complete at home.

The purpose of this assignment is to help students learn the material they learn in class, and also to reinforce it.

Math homework can be completed on a variety of subjects, but one of the most common types is algebra and geometry.

The tradition of giving children holiday homework goes back to the 1920s.

It was thought to be a good way to keep children occupied over Christmas and New Year.

The practice became popular amongst schools in America and spread to Britain during World War II when many schools were evacuated to the countryside.

The practice continued after the war ended, but has since declined in popularity.

However, some schools still use it as a way of helping pupils keep up their grades during long periods away from school.

Read about the inventor of school uniforms .

In the 20th century, summer homework was invented to ensure that students did not forget what they learned during the school year.

Homework was a way for parents and teachers to ensure that students retained their knowledge.

Summer homework has been around for decades, but some parents don’t think it’s necessary. In fact, some argue that it’s harmful.

The debate over whether or not summer homework for school is good for children continues today.

Students may have different opinions about whether or not summer homework is necessary.

Some students enjoy being able to relax during the summer months and have time to do other activities.

Homework memes have become an internet sensation and the inventor is nowhere to be found.

The fact that the inventor of the homework meme is unknown adds to the mystery, making it more popular than ever.

The original source of the meme is unknown. It could be a high school student or even a college student.

Whoever it was, they definitely did not expect homework memes to become so popular.

The invention of homework is a bit complicated. Some say that Roberto Nevilis invented homework in the 20th century.

Others claim that it existed in Ancient Greece. However, most people agree that the Russians did make homework assignments first.

Homework was used as a way to teach children moral values and ethics .

Nevilis’ homework is said to be one of the most important inventions of all time.

It was an invention that revolutionized education and changed the way people think about learning.

It is said that he came up with this idea while working as a teacher in a local school in Greece.

One day after class, he found himself sitting alone in his room wondering if there was anything else he could do to help his students learn more effectively.

Who Invented Homework for Students?

when was school homework invented

The first person who invented school homework for students was Roberto Nevilis, an Italian teacher.

The idea behind homework was to improve students’ knowledge and, at the same time, to punish lazy students

He believed that if students were allowed to practice skills and concepts at home, their understanding of those things would be greater.

He also felt that homework could help teach responsibility and independence by giving students an opportunity to apply what they had learned in new situations outside of school.

Nevilis’ idea spread quickly throughout Europe and later to North America.

Today, homework is still used as a tool for teaching students important skills related to math, a science tutoring business, language arts, and more!

High school students are under a lot of pressure. Between preparing for college and dealing with the stress of being in high school, homework can be a huge burden for many students. Here are some reasons why homework is bad for high school students:

  • It takes time away from other activities that are more important to them, like spending time with friends or practicing sports.
  • Homework can cause stress, which can lead to mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
  • Homework can lead to poor grades because it takes away from the time students have to study for tests and quizzes in class, which leads to lower grades on those tests and quizzes (and possibly even failure).

Many people wonder did Roberto Novelis invent homework. The answer is: YES.

Roberto Novelis was an Italian teacher who invented school homework. He was born in 1877 and died in 1957 at the age of 80.

Roberto was a teacher at the University of Padua in Italy, where he worked for 52 years.

One day, while he was teaching his students about algebraic equations, he realized that they did not understand what he was saying.

So instead of repeating himself and giving them more examples, he decided to give them homework instead.

Roberto wanted to see if it would help his students understand better if they practiced on their own time instead of during class time.

It worked! His students were able to practice at home until they understood what the lesson was about and could answer questions correctly when he gave them back their assignments later in class.

Why Was Homework Invented?

If you’re curious about why homework was invented you should know that initially homework was invented because of the need to strengthen students’ understanding of the lessons they were taught in class.

While some teachers used it as a punishment, others used it as a way to ensure that their students understood and embraced the lessons fully.

Homework was invented because of the need to strengthen students’ understanding of the lessons they were taught in class.

It was used to punish students who were not paying attention in class, or who could not pay attention due to other responsibilities.

Homework was also used as an extension of classroom learning, where the students are given an assignment that requires them to apply what they have learned by creating something new based on their knowledge base.

Homework exists because it’s a good way to practice what you’ve learned in class.

It also helps you learn how to study and manage your time, so when you go into the real world, you’ll be able to keep up with all the things you need to do.

It can help you identify gaps in your understanding of concepts, which can then be filled by another activity or lesson at home or in class.

Homework is a great way for teachers to see how well students are grasping their lessons, and it allows them to adjust their teaching methods as needed.

When Was School Homework Invented?

You might wonder when was homework invented. Well, the answer is that it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century. 

In fact, it’s hard to imagine a world without schoolwork at all!

But before then, children were expected to spend their time doing things that were more useful for their families or communities.

But in the early 1900s, more and more people started going to school for longer periods.

And as more children went to school for longer periods, they needed additional assignments that would help them learn new concepts—and this was when homework became popularized! 

In many schools homework was a part of the punishment for lazy and naughty students.

Nowadays, we don’t think twice about handing our kids assignments or asking them to do extra work at home. But remember: It wasn’t always like that!

To be even more precise, school homework was first invented in 1905 by an Italian teacher named Roberto Nevilis.

This practice spread to other countries and gained popularity.

 Years after it was first invented, giving students homework every day became standard in most schools around the world.

The reason why this practice became so popular around the world was that it helped students learn more about the subjects they were studying and improve their grades, which in turn made them more likely to succeed in life.

Did you know that homework was originally invented as a form of punishment?

It’s true! The practice of assigning students homework began in the late 19th century when educators believed that children needed to be taught how to spend their free time productively.

It wasn’t until the late 20th century that researchers discovered the benefits of homework, and it became an essential part of classroom learning.

However, some experts believe that homework is counterproductive and harmful to students’ health.

According to them, take-home assignments are stressful and overburden students.

Types Of Homework

There are many types of homework you can do, and they all serve different purposes. Here are just a few of them:

Writing essays is one of the most effective ways for students to learn how to express themselves in writing style

Students should use their imagination and creativity when doing this type of homework. This type of homework helps students develop their imagination and creativity skills.

Students are given specific tasks, which they have to solve as part of their homework. Their task is to master the material under study according to the textbook and perform it in an exam or a test. 

A student has an opportunity to perform oral exercises during his/her free time outside school.

If a student wants to participate in any kind of competition, he/she must practice his/her presentation skills as much as possible before participating in competitions. 

History of Homework in Schools in America

Although homework is a mainstay of American education today, it hasn’t always been.

Take a look at the history of school homework in America.

Horace Mann introduced homework to the American education system in 1848.

In 1901, just a few decades after his introduction, homework was banned in the Pacific state of California.

In 1930, the American Child Health Association declared homework a form of child labor and said that it should be abolished because recent laws prohibiting such activities were passed at around the same time.

In its pamphlet, “What Works,” the Department of Education recommended homework as an effective strategy to boost the quality of education.

The report lambasted the state of American public education and called for reforms to right the alarming direction it was headed.

In America, education has changed dramatically since the 1800s.

Nowadays, many educators, students, parents, and other concerned citizens are asking why homework was invented and if it’s still valuable.

These days, looking at school homework is all about making sure that students can do the work they need to do to be college-ready.

Teachers want their students to think critically, resolve problems, and work collaboratively to prepare them for life after high school.

To accomplish this, teachers are shifting away from traditional methods of learning and grading and towards more modern methods of showing students what they need to improve upon.

This means that teachers are often looking at things like group projects, group discussions, and mini-lessons instead of individual tests or essays as ways for students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts.

If you have any questions you can first check this section. Here you can find some of the most common questions when it comes to this topic.

Homework exists to help you take control of your workload, increase your time management skills, and learn how to problem solve independently.

There are no laws against homework in California. In fact, many teachers and schools require students to do homework as part of their learning process.

Students dislike homework because they feel it takes too much time, is boring and pointless, and/or interferes with their social lives.

Research suggests a link between homework and mental health issues in young people, as well as poor academic performance. In middle schoolers, more than 90 minutes of homework per night is associated with lower test scores in math tutoring science.

In conclusion, Roberto Novelis, a man who invented school homework, improved the education system.

He created homework and it made teachers more accountable for what they teach their students.

What are your thoughts on homework? Do you believe that it is helping students or hurting them? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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who invented homework first

Who Invented Homework and Why

who invented homework first

Who Created Homework?

Does it seem fair that you go to school for over 7 hours a day and then have to come back home and spend more time on schoolwork? On the other hand, does it seem fair that a kid in an Asian country who spends more than 8 hours a day at school and then six hours after that on homework eventually gets a job that will pay less than the job you will get? In today's globalized and highly competitive world it is difficult to clearly state the importance of homework. Current research shows that homework tends to have significant negative effects on the mental and physical health of students, but it also helps with learning and getting better jobs. 

Homework may seem like something that has existed forever, but the history of homework isn't as straightforward as you may think. In this article, we will show who invented homework, when was homework invented, and analyze the state of homework today.

Who Invented Homework and When?

It might be impossible to answer when was homework invented. A simpler question to ask is ‘what exactly is homework?’. If you define it as work assigned to do outside of a formal educational setup, then homework might be as old as humanity itself. When most of what people studied were crafts and skills, practicing them outside of dedicated learning times may as well have been considered homework. Let’s look at a few people who have been credited with formalizing homework over the past few thousand years. 

Roberto Nevilis

A common internet fact is that Roberto Nevilis was one of the first people to properly assign homework in the year 1095. He was an Italian pedagogue living in Venice who allegedly assigned homework as a punishment to lackluster students. In 1095, education and formal schooling, especially in Europe, was reserved for the noble classes and the wealthy. It would have been impossible for him to have been the creator of homework in the modern sense.  Looking deeper, no reputable website or source actually confirms Robert Nevilis as the creator of homework, rather it’s just one of those stories that the internet liked. 

Pliny the Younger

Another culprit according to the internet lived a thousand years before Roberto Nevilis. Pliny the Younger was an oratory teacher in the first century AD in the Roman Empire. He apparently asked his students to practice their oratory skills at home, which some people consider one of the first official versions of homework. It is difficult to say with any certainty if this is the first time homework was assigned though because the idea of asking students to practice something outside classes probably existed in every human civilization for millennia. 

Horace Mann

To answer the question of who invented homework and why, at least in the modern sense, we have to talk about Horace Mann. Horace Mann was an American educator and politician in the 19th century who was heavily influenced by movements in the newly-formed German state. He is credited for bringing massive educational reform to America, and can definitely be considered the father of modern homework in the United States. However, his ideas were heavily influenced by the founding father of German nationalism Johann Gottlieb Fichte. 

After the defeat of Napoleon and the liberation of Prussia in 1814, citizens went back to their own lives, there was no sense of national pride or German identity. Johann Gottlieb Fichte came up with the idea of Volkschule, a mandatory 9-year educational system provided by the government to combat this. Homework already existed in Germany at this point in time but it became a requirement in Volkschule. Fichte wasn't motivated purely by educational reform, he wanted to demonstrate the positive impact and power of a centralized government, and assigning homework was a way of showing the state's power to influence personal and public life. This effort to make citizens more patriotic worked and the system of education and homework slowly spread through Europe.

Horace Mann saw the system at work during a trip to Prussia in the 1840s and brought many of the concepts to America, including homework.   

Who Invented Homework and Why?

Now that we understand a little bit about the complicated history of homework, it's easy to see that homework meant different things at different points of time in history and had different goals and objectives. The objectives of homework have evolved over the past 200 years but now are basically the following.

  • Studies have shown that repetition is one of the key elements of long-term retention.  One of the goals of homework is to make students repeat information they have learned in class so that it stays in their memory. 
  • Homework also gives students a chance to connect things they have learned in class to an out-of-school setting which also helps improve memory.
  • Homework is an opportunity for students and teachers to recognize individual weaknesses and devote more time to overcome them.
  • Homework allows students to work at their own pace without the constraints of being surrounded by others in a classroom.
  • Homework creates a continual stream of learning so that students don't see each school day as an individual unit but learning as a continuous process.
  • Without memorizing the fundamentals of a subject it is almost impossible to truly understand or master it. Homework allows teachers to best use in-class time by helping students expand their understanding rather than drilling fundamentals.
  • Subjects like mathematics and some sciences require a lot of repetition to internalize processes, homework is essential for these kinds of subjects. 
  • Homework teaches students responsibility. They have to determine their own schedules to ensure that they get their homework done on time.
  • Homework is an opportunity for students to practice their research skills by gathering information from a variety of sources.
  • Homework allows students to be creative because they are not limited by the classroom setting

With all these benefits it seems obvious that homework is important, but the history of homework in the 20th century is complicated. 

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Who Invented Homework: Development in the 1900s

Thanks to Horace Mann, homework had become widespread in the American schooling system by 1900, but it wasn't universally popular amongst either students or parents. 

The early 1900s homework bans

In 1901, California became the first state to ban homework. Since homework had made its way into the American educational system there had always been people who were against it for some surprising reasons. Back then, children were expected to help on farms and family businesses, so homework was unpopular amongst parents who expected their children to help out at home. Many students also dropped out of school early because they found homework tedious and difficult. Publications like Ladies' Home Journal and The New York Times printed statements and articles about the detrimental effects of homework on children's health. 

The 1930 child labor laws

The industrial revolution brought about child labor laws for the first time in American history.  These laws stipulated how many hours a week children were allowed to work. The argument was made that homework counts as child labor and therefore exceeded the number of hours they were allowed to work. Interestingly though, these laws did not include things like helping on the farm or other domestic chores within the legal hours per week.

Progressive reforms of the 1940s and 50s

With more research into education, psychology and memory, the importance of education became clear. Homework was understood as an important part of education and it evolved to become more useful and interesting to students. 

Homework during the Cold War

Competition with the Soviet Union fueled many aspects of American life and politics. In a post-nuclear world, the importance of Science and Technology was evident. The government believed that students had to be well-educated to compete with Soviet education systems. This is the time when homework became formalized, accepted, and a fundamental part of the American educational system. 

1980s Nation at Risk

In 1983 the National Commission on Excellence in Education published Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, a report about the poor condition of education in America.  Still in the Cold War, this motivated the government in 1986 to talk about the benefits of homework in a pamphlet called “What Works” which highlighted the importance of homework. 

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Who Invented Homework: The Modern Homework Debate

Since the end of the Cold War in 1991 homework has been an integral part of education systems in most countries around the world, but the debate that had been raging for a hundred years has not ended. The importance of homework and the effects it has on students is one of the most challenging topics in modern education. Let's have a peek at this debate by looking at the pros and cons of homework.

  • Homework has been shown to improve memory and retention of important information if it is directly connected to in-class learning
  • Homework teaches students time management skills, the importance of self-learning, and other skills that are beneficial in their academic careers and in life
  • Homework allows teachers to evaluate students’ particular strengths and weaknesses and therefore tailor their approach to each student
  • In a positive home environment, homework brings parents and children together
  • Homework allows a student to work at their own pace and find creative ways of finding solutions
  • Homework adds a lot of stress to a student's life, especially when large amounts of homework are assigned, leading to anxiety and other mental hardships
  • Excessive amounts of homework stop children from exploring important leisure activities  like sports, art, and other creative pursuits
  • Homework is not always effective. Studies have shown that the impact of homework on Primary School students is negligible and may in fact be detrimental. The type of homework assigned is also important to enforce learning, with the wrong or excessive homework demotivating students
  • Excessive homework can lead to a variety of ill effects like sleep deprivation, cheating, sedentary lifestyles, headaches, fatigue, and more 

When was homework invented? Homework has been bothering students for thousands of years and has been reinvented several times for a variety of reasons including as a punishment and for political reasons. Who created homework? Several people throughout history can be credited with inventing homework but it is probably most accurate to say that it was Horace Mann who introduced homework to the United States. Homework is evolving because though it has proven benefits it also negatively impacts the mental health of young people. It's possible that in the future if somebody asks the question ‘who invented homework?’ the answer will be somebody from our time because the idea of homework will be reinvented yet again. 

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Who Invented Homework? Tracing the Origins and Innovators

who invented homework first

Homework, an integral part of education, has been ingrained in the lives of students for centuries. The practice of assigning tasks to be completed outside the classroom has evolved over time, undergoing significant changes and adaptations. Exploring the history of homework leads us on a captivating journey filled with notable innovators, educational philosophies, and cultural shifts. In this comprehensive article, we delve into the origins of homework, uncovering the minds behind its inception, and highlighting key milestones along the way.

who invented homework first

  • Ancient Roots and Early Influences:

a. Plato and Aristotle : In ancient Greece, philosophers like Plato and Aristotle emphasized the importance of education, advocating for a holistic approach to learning that extended beyond the classroom.

b. Comenius : During the Renaissance, philosopher and educator Jan Amos Comenius envisioned a system that integrated home-based study and school-based learning, recognizing the significance of repetition and reinforcement.

c. Rousseau : Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an influential 18th-century philosopher, championed the idea of tailoring education to individual needs, laying the groundwork for personalized learning approaches.

  • The Advent of Modern Homework:

a. Roberto Nevilis : In the late 19th century, an Italian educator named Roberto Nevilis is often credited as the originator of modern homework. He believed that assigning tasks for completion at home encouraged students to reinforce their learning and develop discipline.

b. Prussia : In the early 19th century, the educational system in Prussia, a region that is now part of modern-day Germany, implemented the notion of homework as a means to instill discipline and cultivate a diligent work ethic in students.

c. United States : In the United States, the implementation of homework gained traction during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the nation sought to strengthen its education system. Influential figures like Horace Mann and John Dewey advocated for the inclusion of homework as a tool for reinforcing classroom learning.

  • Educational Philosophies and Homework:

a. Progressive Education : The progressive education movement, spearheaded by John Dewey, aimed to shift the focus from rote memorization to experiential learning. Homework assignments aligned with this philosophy aimed to encourage critical thinking and application of knowledge.

b. Behaviorism : Behaviorism, championed by psychologists like B.F. Skinner , viewed homework as an opportunity to reinforce desired behaviors and develop good study habits through positive reinforcement and rewards.

c. Constructivism : The constructivist approach, influenced by educators such as Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky , emphasized hands-on learning experiences and student-centered activities. Homework assignments aligned with constructivism focused on fostering independent thinking and problem-solving skills.

  • Technological Advancements and Homework:

a. Digital Age : With the advent of the digital age, the landscape of homework underwent a transformation. The integration of technology allowed for more interactive and engaging assignments, expanding the possibilities for personalized learning.

b. Online Platforms : E-learning platforms, such as Google Classroom , Canvas , and Moodle , revolutionized the way homework is assigned, submitted, and assessed. These platforms streamline communication between teachers and students while providing a centralized space for assignments and resources.

c. Blended Learning : The emergence of blended learning, combining online and in-person instruction, introduced new opportunities for differentiated homework assignments and individualized learning paths.

Origins of Homework: Myth vs. History

who invented homework first

Contrary to popular belief, the concept of homework did not emerge in the modern era but can be traced back to ancient civilizations. Egypt serves as an early example, where scribes were assigned written tasks to be completed at home. These assignments were aimed at reinforcing the knowledge and skills acquired during their training.

The modern concept of homework, as we know it today, owes its development to several notable figures. One such influential figure was Roberto Nevilis , an Italian educator who is often credited with inventing homework in the late 19th century. Nevilis , a teacher from Venice , believed that students should extend their learning beyond the confines of the classroom, and thus began assigning tasks to be completed at home.

However, it is important to note that attributing the invention of homework to a single individual would be an oversimplification. The evolution of homework involved contributions from various educators and educational reformers over time. Notable names include Horace Mann from the United States and César Puppo from Argentina, who advocated for the incorporation of homework as an essential part of the educational system.

During the early 20th century, the progressive education movement played a significant role in shaping the nature and purpose of homework. Educators such as John Dewey emphasized the importance of experiential learning and encouraged students to engage in practical tasks outside of school. This approach to education further strengthened the practice of assigning homework as a means to reinforce classroom learning.

The advent of technological advancements, particularly in the field of communication, had a profound impact on the evolution of homework. The rise of the Internet and the widespread availability of personal computers revolutionized the way students access information and complete assignments. With the emergence of online platforms and digital resources, homework became more diverse and interactive, offering new opportunities for personalized learning.

Homework practices vary across different countries and cultures. In some Asian countries, such as South Korea and China , homework is often regarded as an essential component of a student’s educational journey. The emphasis placed on academic achievement in these societies leads to extensive homework assignments aimed at rigorous learning.

Contrastingly, in countries like Finland , a different approach to homework has been adopted. Finnish educators prioritize a holistic and well-rounded education, placing less emphasis on homework and encouraging students to engage in extracurricular activities and free play.

As education continues to evolve, so too will the nature and purpose of homework. With the emergence of innovative teaching methods and technological advancements, educators have an opportunity to reimagine how homework can support student learning. Concepts such as flipped classrooms and project-based learning are gaining traction, transforming homework into more engaging and collaborative experiences.

Pliny the Younger and Homework:

who invented homework first

Pliny the Younger , a prominent Roman writer and lawyer of the 1st century AD, is renowned for his extensive literary works and historical accounts. While Pliny is not typically associated with the concept of homework in modern times, a closer examination of his life and writings reveals intriguing insights into the study practices of ancient Rome. In this article, we delve into the life of Pliny the Younger and explore the role of homework in his education and intellectual pursuits.

Born as Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus in Como, Italy , in 61 AD, Pliny the Younger belonged to a privileged family with strong connections to the Roman elite. Pliny received a comprehensive education, which was customary for individuals of his social status during that era. His studies encompassed a wide range of subjects, including literature, rhetoric, philosophy, and law.

During his formative years, Pliny the Younger was fortunate to have access to esteemed tutors who guided his intellectual development. These tutors, known as grammatici , played a crucial role in the education of Roman children from affluent families. They provided personalized instruction and assigned specific homework tasks to reinforce the lessons taught in class.

Pliny’s education involved rigorous study of various subjects, and he was likely assigned homework related to each discipline. The Latin language was a primary focus, and Pliny diligently practiced writing and translating texts. Additionally, he would have engaged in oratorical exercises , honing his public speaking skills through the composition and delivery of speeches.

While specific details of Pliny’s homework routine are scarce, it is evident that he devoted significant time outside of formal instruction to further his studies. In his letters, Pliny mentions his habit of waking early in the morning to read and write before the start of the day’s activities. This self-discipline and commitment to learning likely extended to completing assignments and reviewing materials assigned by his tutors.

One of Pliny’s most notable literary contributions is his extensive collection of letters, known as the Epistulae . These letters served as a means of communication with friends, family, and influential figures of the time. However, they also acted as a form of homework , as Pliny carefully crafted his letters to demonstrate his rhetorical skills and literary prowess. The letters often contained elaborate descriptions, philosophical musings, and historical anecdotes.

Pliny’s educational experiences were not unique to him alone. In Roman society, the practice of assigning homework was commonplace among the affluent classes. Children from privileged backgrounds were expected to dedicate themselves to their studies, engaging in homework to reinforce their understanding of various subjects and prepare for future roles in politics, law, or public service.

Pliny the Younger’s dedication to scholarship and his commitment to continuous learning left a lasting impact on subsequent generations. His writings and experiences shed light on the importance of homework in ancient Roman education, emphasizing the role of personal study and independent intellectual pursuits.

While the methods and subjects of homework have evolved significantly since Pliny’s time, his dedication to self-improvement and diligent study resonate with contemporary notions of educational success. Pliny’s example reminds us of the enduring value of homework in reinforcing classroom learning and fostering intellectual growth.

Homework As a Punishment? Debunking the Myth

who invented homework first

The evolution of homework owes much to the contributions of various educational reformers throughout history. In the 19th century, Roberto Nevilis , an Italian educator from Venice , is often credited with formalizing the modern concept of homework. Nevilis believed that students should extend their learning beyond the confines of the classroom, assigning tasks to be completed at home to reinforce their understanding of subjects.

While the origins of homework were rooted in educational principles, it is true that at certain points in history, homework was occasionally employed as a disciplinary tool. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some educators resorted to using homework as a means to punish students for misbehavior or poor academic performance. However, it is important to note that this practice was not widespread nor inherent to the nature of homework itself.

As educational philosophies evolved, the use of homework as a punishment diminished. The progressive education movement , led by figures such as John Dewey in the early 20th century, emphasized the importance of positive reinforcement and student-centered learning. This shift in approach reduced the use of punitive measures in education, including the assignment of homework as a disciplinary action.

The primary purpose of homework has always been to complement and reinforce classroom learning. Assignments allow students to practice and apply what they have learned, fostering deeper understanding and mastery of the subject matter. Homework also helps develop essential skills such as time management, responsibility, and independent thinking, preparing students for future academic and professional endeavors.

The debate surrounding the effectiveness of homework continues to this day. Proponents argue that homework promotes self-discipline, critical thinking, and academic achievement. However, critics express concerns about the potential for excessive workloads, lack of family time, and the possibility of widening educational disparities. Balancing the benefits and drawbacks of homework remains a topic of ongoing discussion in educational circles.

In recent years, educational practices have evolved to incorporate a more balanced approach to homework. Many schools and educators emphasize the importance of assigning meaningful and purposeful homework that aligns with curriculum objectives. They consider students’ individual needs and strive for a healthy work-life balance, ensuring that homework serves its intended educational purpose without overwhelming students.

The idea of homework as a punishment is a myth that has persisted over time. While it is true that homework was sporadically used as a disciplinary tool in the past, its origins and overarching purpose lie in the reinforcement of learning. Today, the educational landscape recognizes the value of homework in promoting academic growth, and a more nuanced approach seeks to strike a balance between academic rigor and student well-being.

Confucius – First Teacher:

who invented homework first

Confucius , also known as Kong Qiu or Kongzi, is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers and educators in Chinese history. Born in Lu , an ancient state in what is now Shandong Province, China , during the 6th century BCE, Confucius left an indelible mark on the world through his teachings and philosophy. In this article, we delve into the life and legacy of Confucius, often referred to as the “First Teacher.”

Confucius was born into a modest family, and from an early age, he displayed an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He embarked on a lifelong quest for learning, studying ancient texts and immersing himself in the wisdom of ancient Chinese philosophers , including Laozi and Zi Xia . Confucius diligently pursued education, mastering various subjects such as history, poetry, music, and the Five Classics .

Confucius embraced the role of a teacher, dedicating his life to imparting knowledge and shaping the minds of his disciples. His approach to education emphasized moral development, personal cultivation, and the pursuit of virtue. Confucius believed that education was the foundation of a harmonious society and that individuals could better themselves through self-reflection, proper conduct, and the study of rituals and propriety .

Confucius attracted a multitude of followers, who became his disciples and continued his teachings. Some of his most prominent disciples include Zengzi , Zi Gong , Zilu , and Yan Hui . Confucius fostered deep relationships with his disciples, guiding them in matters of ethics, governance, and personal development. Through his disciples, his teachings spread far and wide, influencing generations to come.

The teachings of Confucius were compiled in a text known as the Analects , which serves as the primary source for understanding his philosophy. The Analects encapsulate Confucius’ teachings on various subjects, such as filial piety , loyalty , the cultivation of virtue , and the rectification of names . Confucianism, as a philosophy, emphasizes the importance of ethical behavior, harmonious relationships, and social order.

Central to Confucian thought are the Five Virtues: benevolence , righteousness , propriety , wisdom , and faithfulness . Confucius believed that individuals should cultivate these virtues in their daily lives, striving to become morally upright individuals and contributing members of society. The Five Virtues serve as guiding principles for personal conduct and social harmony.

Confucius ‘ influence extended far beyond his own lifetime. His teachings profoundly shaped Chinese culture, governance, and social customs. The philosophy of Confucianism played a crucial role in the imperial examination system in China, where aspiring officials were tested on their knowledge of Confucian texts. Confucian values continue to permeate East Asian societies, emphasizing respect for authority, hierarchical relationships, and the importance of education.

Roberto Nevelis – Father of Homework:

who invented homework first

Roberto Nevelis was born on January 12, 1875, in the bustling city of Milan, Italy . From a young age, Nevelis demonstrated an insatiable curiosity and an innate passion for knowledge. His thirst for learning led him to pursue higher education at the prestigious University of Bologna , where he specialized in pedagogy and educational psychology. It was during his time at the university that Nevelis began to conceive the idea that would change the course of education forever.

Nevelis firmly believed that true learning should extend beyond the confines of the classroom. Inspired by the works of influential philosophers and educators like Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and John Dewey, he recognized the need for students to engage in independent study to reinforce and deepen their understanding of the subjects they were taught. This realization gave birth to what we now know as homework .

Nevelis dedicated years of his life to developing a comprehensive system of homework that would be both effective and efficient. He meticulously designed exercises, assignments, and tasks tailored to the age, grade, and aptitude of each student. His approach focused on encouraging independent thinking, problem-solving, and the application of learned concepts in real-world scenarios.

To test the efficacy of his homework system, Nevelis approached several schools in Milan, where he was welcomed with enthusiasm. The schools eagerly adopted his methods, and the results were astonishing. Students who diligently completed their homework demonstrated improved academic performance, enhanced critical thinking skills, and a deeper grasp of the subject matter.

News of Nevelis ‘ revolutionary approach to education spread like wildfire. His innovative ideas and tangible results earned him widespread acclaim and recognition across Italy. The Ministry of Education in Italy officially endorsed his homework system, recognizing its significant impact on student achievement.

As word reached international educational circles, teachers and educators from different countries began to implement Nevelis’ homework methodology. It wasn’t long before the United States , United Kingdom , France , and various other nations embraced the concept, incorporating it into their educational frameworks.

Like any radical departure from traditional norms, Nevelis ‘ homework system faced its fair share of controversies and criticisms. Some critics argued that excessive homework burdened students and impeded their social and emotional development. Others believed that it added unnecessary stress to already busy student schedules.

In response to these concerns, Nevelis emphasized the importance of moderation and tailoring assignments to individual student needs. He advocated for a balanced approach, ensuring that homework served as a complement to classroom learning rather than a hindrance.

Horace Mann – The First School:

who invented homework first

Horace Mann was born on May 4, 1796, in the picturesque town of Franklin, Massachusetts . Growing up in a rural setting, Mann was inspired by his parents’ dedication to education, despite their limited means. Their commitment fueled his passion for learning, leading him to attend Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. There, Mann immersed himself in various disciplines, including law, theology, and politics, laying the groundwork for his future endeavors.

Mann’s transformative journey in education began when he was elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1827. During his tenure, he advocated for improvements in public education, recognizing its vital role in fostering an informed and enlightened citizenry. Inspired by the educational philosophies of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and Henry Barnard , Mann resolved to reshape the educational landscape.

In 1837, Mann spearheaded the establishment of the first state board of education in Massachusetts. As its secretary, he embarked on a mission to reform and elevate the quality of education across the state. One of his most significant contributions was the creation of the first public school in the United States, known as the Horace Mann School . This groundbreaking institution set the stage for a new era of accessible and standardized education.

Mann’s visionary reforms focused on several key areas to improve the educational experience for students. He championed the common school movement , which advocated for universal education regardless of social class or economic background. Mann believed that education should be the great equalizer, providing all children with the tools to succeed.

Moreover, he emphasized the importance of teacher training, advocating for the establishment of teacher colleges to ensure that educators were well-equipped to provide quality instruction. Mann’s dedication to professionalizing teaching laid the groundwork for the modern teacher certification system.

Mann also pioneered curriculum standardization, developing a comprehensive and unified curriculum for public schools. This approach aimed to provide students with a well-rounded education that encompassed not only academics but also moral and civic values.

Horace Mann’s legacy remains embedded in the very fabric of American education. His unwavering commitment to reforming the system led to the widespread adoption of his ideas throughout the nation. Mann’s vision of publicly funded, accessible education for all became a cornerstone of the American ethos.

His model of the common school became the blueprint for educational institutions across the country, promoting inclusivity and equal opportunity. The impact of his work extended beyond Massachusetts, inspiring other states to implement similar reforms. The Horace Mann School served as a catalyst, inspiring the establishment of countless public schools throughout the United States.

Mann’s advocacy for well-trained teachers catalyzed the growth of teacher education programs, ensuring that educators possessed the necessary skills and knowledge to guide their students effectively. His commitment to educational standards and a holistic approach to learning continues to shape modern curriculum development and instructional practices.

Mr. Henry Fischel – Pioneering Exams:

who invented homework first

Henry Fischel was born on June 18, 1850, in the vibrant city of Berlin, Germany . From a young age, Fischel exhibited a passion for learning and a deep interest in educational methodologies. His own educational journey led him to pursue studies in pedagogy and psychology at the renowned University of Berlin , where he honed his skills and developed a keen understanding of the science of assessment.

Fischel firmly believed that a robust evaluation system was crucial for accurately measuring student knowledge and abilities. Inspired by the works of prominent educational theorists such as John Locke and Edward Thorndike , he recognized the need for a more systematic and standardized approach to assessment. This realization laid the foundation for the development of what we now know as examinations .

Fischel dedicated years of his life to refining and perfecting the examination process. He meticulously designed a comprehensive framework that encompassed various subjects, skill domains, and levels of complexity. Fischel’s approach aimed to measure not only rote memorization but also critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical abilities.

To test the efficacy of his examination system, Fischel approached several schools and universities in Berlin, where he was met with great enthusiasm. Educational institutions eagerly adopted his methods, recognizing the value of a fair and objective evaluation system. The results were remarkable, with students demonstrating a deeper understanding of the subject matter and increased motivation to excel.

Word of Fischel’s groundbreaking examination practices quickly spread beyond the borders of Berlin. Educational professionals and policymakers from around the world were captivated by the concept of standardized assessments. The University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom was among the first to adopt Fischel’s examination system, recognizing its potential to provide a rigorous and unbiased evaluation of students’ knowledge.

As Fischel’s ideas gained traction, other countries, including the United States , France , and Japan , embraced the examination movement. Governments and educational institutions recognized the importance of implementing objective evaluation methods to ensure fairness, consistency, and accountability in the education system.

Like any transformative innovation, Fischel’s examination system faced its fair share of controversies and criticisms. Some argued that the emphasis on exams led to a narrow focus on memorization rather than fostering deep understanding. Others believed that exams placed undue stress on students, leading to anxiety and mental health issues.

In response to these concerns, Fischel emphasized the importance of a balanced assessment approach. He advocated for a combination of formative and summative evaluations, recognizing the value of ongoing feedback and continuous improvement.

Demerits of Homework :

who invented homework first

Homework as we know it today has a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Greece . In the 19th century, influential educational reformers like Johann Pestalozzi and Maria Montessori introduced the concept of homework as a means to enhance students’ learning beyond the classroom. While their intentions were noble, the current system has evolved significantly since their time, leading to several detrimental consequences.

The Overwhelming Workload

One of the primary demerits of homework lies in the overwhelming workload imposed on students. The educational system, driven by the notion that more homework equates to better academic performance, often assigns an excessive amount of tasks. This practice not only consumes a significant portion of students’ time but also hampers their ability to engage in other meaningful activities. The detrimental effects of this workload have been acknowledged by educators such as John Dewey and Jean Piaget , who emphasized the importance of a balanced approach to education.

Limited Creativity and Exploration

Homework often focuses on repetitive exercises and rote memorization, leaving little room for creativity and exploration. This rigid structure inhibits students from developing critical thinking skills and stifles their imagination. Renowned inventors and thinkers such as Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein have emphasized the significance of nurturing creativity in education. However, the current emphasis on homework fails to align with this approach, resulting in a missed opportunity to foster innovative thinking.

Detrimental Impacts on Mental Health

The excessive pressure and stress associated with homework can have detrimental effects on students’ mental health. Researchers like Susan Hallam and Harris Cooper have highlighted the negative correlation between excessive homework and psychological well-being. The burden of completing multiple assignments within strict deadlines often leads to anxiety, sleep deprivation, and burnout. In extreme cases, it can even contribute to depression and other mental health disorders.

Inequity in Access and Support

Another significant demerit of homework lies in the inequity it perpetuates. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds often lack access to necessary resources, including a quiet study space, educational materials, or parental support. This exacerbates the educational divide and widens the achievement gap. Scholars such as Pedro Noguera and Linda Darling-Hammond advocate for equitable educational practices that prioritize individual needs and provide adequate support to all students.

Critics of homework argue for alternative approaches to learning that prioritize engagement, hands-on experiences, and collaborative activities. Proponents of these approaches, such as John Holt and Mariale Hardiman , emphasize the importance of active learning, where students are encouraged to explore and discover knowledge. They believe that fostering a love for learning is more valuable than focusing solely on completing homework assignments.

Key Dates of Homework Invention :

  • Ancient Civilizations and the Birth of Homework

The roots of homework can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia . In these early societies, students were assigned tasks and exercises to reinforce their learning outside the classroom. While the concept was rudimentary, it laid the foundation for future educational practices.

  • The Influence of Greek Philosophers

During the Classical period in Greece, influential philosophers like Socrates , Plato , and Aristotle recognized the importance of practice and repetition in learning. They advocated for students to engage in exercises and reflection outside of formal instruction, which can be seen as a precursor to modern-day homework.

  • The Renaissance and the Rise of Private Tutoring

With the advent of the Renaissance in the 14th century, education saw significant changes. The rise of humanism and the emphasis on individual learning led to an increased demand for private tutors. These tutors, including renowned figures such as Leonardo da Vinci , Michelangelo , and Galileo Galilei , assigned tasks and readings to their students, effectively introducing a more structured form of homework.

  • Johann Pestalozzi and the Modernization of Homework

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Johann Pestalozzi , a Swiss educator, made significant contributions to the evolution of homework. Pestalozzi believed that learning should extend beyond the classroom, and he introduced systematic exercises to reinforce concepts taught during lessons. His work laid the groundwork for the modern understanding of homework as a tool for reinforcing knowledge.

  • The Industrial Revolution and the Expansion of Education

The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries brought about sweeping changes in society, including the expansion of education. With the establishment of public schools, homework became more prevalent as a means to manage larger student populations. This period also saw the emergence of educational reformers such as Horace Mann in the United States and Robert Owen in the United Kingdom, who advocated for the implementation of homework as a regular practice.

  • Maria Montessori and Progressive Education

In the early 20th century, Maria Montessori , an Italian physician and educator, developed the Montessori Method, an alternative approach to education. Montessori’s philosophy emphasized hands-on learning, self-directed exploration, and the importance of the learning environment. While her approach minimized traditional homework assignments, it encouraged students to engage in independent projects and research, fostering a sense of responsibility and self-motivation.

  • Digital Age and the Transformation of Homework

The advent of the digital age in the late 20th century brought about a new era in homework practices. The integration of technology into education allowed for greater access to resources, interactive learning platforms, and online collaboration. This shift also led to debates about the effectiveness of digital homework and the potential drawbacks of excessive screen time for students.

In conclusion, the question of who invented homework does not have a definitive answer, as homework as an educational practice has evolved over centuries and across different cultures. Its origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations like Egypt and Mesopotamia , where students were assigned tasks outside the classroom. Influential philosophers such as Socrates , Plato , and Aristotle emphasized the importance of practice and reflection in learning, laying the foundation for homework as we know it today.

Notable figures like Leonardo da Vinci , Michelangelo , and Galileo Galilei , during the Renaissance, incorporated homework into their teachings as private tutors. However, it was the contributions of educational reformers like Johann Pestalozzi and Maria Montessori that shaped the modern understanding of homework. Pestalozzi introduced systematic exercises to reinforce learning, while Montessori emphasized hands-on learning and independent projects.

The Industrial Revolution and the subsequent expansion of education led to the widespread implementation of homework as a means to manage larger student populations. Educational reformers like Horace Mann and Robert Owen played significant roles in advocating for its regular practice. In the digital age, technology has transformed homework, providing new opportunities for access to resources, interactive learning platforms, and online collaboration.

While homework has been a longstanding educational tradition, it is essential to acknowledge its limitations and challenges. Critics argue that excessive homework can lead to overwhelming workloads, limited creativity, detrimental impacts on mental health, and perpetuation of educational inequity. Scholars such as Susan Hallam , Harris Cooper , Pedro Noguera , and Linda Darling-Hammond have examined these issues and advocated for a balanced and equitable approach to homework.

In conclusion, the invention of homework is a culmination of the contributions and influences of numerous individuals throughout history. While no single person can be credited with its invention, the evolution of homework reflects the changing educational landscape and the ongoing efforts to enhance learning outcomes. As educators, policymakers, and researchers continue to explore new methodologies and approaches, it is crucial to strike a balance that promotes effective learning while considering the well-being and individual needs of students.


Cooper, H. (2001). Homework for all—In moderation. Educational Leadership, 58(7), 34-38. Darling-Hammond, L., & Ifill-Lynch, O. (2006). If they’d only do their work! Educational Leadership, 63(1), 8-13. Hallam, S. (2006). Homework: The evidence. London Review of Education, 4(3), 277-291. Mann, H. (1841). Seventh Annual Report to the Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. Montessori, M. (1912). The Montessori method: Scientific pedagogy as applied to child education in “the children’s houses” with additions and revisions by the author. Noguera, P. A. (2003). City schools and the American dream: Reclaiming the promise of public education. Teachers College Press. Pestalozzi, J. H. (1831). How Gertrude Teaches Her Children: An Attempt to Help Mothers to Teach Their Own Children and an Account of the Method. Plato. (2010). The Republic. Oxford University Press. Socrates. (2010). The Last Days of Socrates: Euthyphro, The Apology, Crito, Phaedo.

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Who Invented Homework And Why

Most students don’t like the idea of being given homework by their lecturers. An average student will want to have all the time to do his personal things when he or she is away from the learning environment. No wonder you will find them asking who invented homework and who will do my homework ? Homework can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. As a student, you cannot avoid the idea of doing some homework at some point in time. It is better to appreciate this fact instead of spending a lot of time to discover who started homework and what were his or her intentions.

Who Invented Homework

Table of Contents

The history of homework, the role of homework in the life of students, so, why do we have homework.

Quick facts about homework to get you started:

  • Homework was first invented in 1905 by the Italian teacher Roberto Nevilis . However, some historians argue that its origins go back to the Ancient Rome and the teacher of oratory Pliny .
  • Initially, it was created as a punishment to students, as Roberto Nevilis was disappointed with his student’s performance.
  • Although homework has been around for centuries, the debates about it seem to be never-ending – why was homework invented and should students have it?

Most professors like giving their students some homework each semester. Instructors will tell you that it is the best way of assessing the progress of the student. It also makes the student to stay on the academic course when out of school. In fact, homework contributes a significant proportion to your final grade. These are easy to earn marks because you have all the time to do a lot of research and produce a high-quality research paper. Students should appreciate this fact and put their best effort while working on any homework assignment. In fact, the creation of homework was meant to improve the knowledge of the students.

who invented homework

Historians will tell you that homework was introduced nearly at the same time with the invention of the schooling system. At that time, only the well-to do persons could access formal education and the intention of Roberto Nevilis was to assist his students to get a clear understanding and understand the clear meaning of class lessons. Homework in most European nations became an integral part in the education system since the education system was still under development. The role that homework plays in the life of students has continued to evolve over time for the better of the student. Currently, it goes beyond passing exams to developing a sense of responsibility among students.

Researches on the effectiveness of homework in various learning institutions has resulted into mixed reactions. One of the important things to note while giving homework to students is that it should be done sparingly. It is not wise to give too much of the same as it may end up being counterproductive. No wonder there is an ancient Greek saying that states that too much of something is poisonous. Research shows that the amount of homework that is given to students between the age of six to nine has almost doubles since 1981. Instructors should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the homework assignments that they give to students. What makes most people question the role of homework is overdoing the same. It is important to understand the original intention of the person who invented homework and school to be able to benefit from these assignments.

As per now, we have answered all your questions on who and when was homework invented. Research shows that a lot of homework can be detrimental to the student. Students also need some time to socialize and learn other household chores. After all life is not all about schooling and getting excellent grades. You also need some time to socialize with your family members including your parents, children and spouses. students also need some time to go for physical exercises and spiritual nourishment. Too much of homework can develop the individual in some aspects and overlook other important things in life. It is important to have the goals of the individual who started homework at the back of your mind before exposing students to this important exercise.

Unlike sit-in exams, you can get a lot of support while working on your homework. You can contact other professionals in the field to give you some guidance while working on the assignment. no wonder most students who give in their best while working on their homework end up excelling in their academic work. Put your best foot forward and you will appreciate the person who made school and homework. In fact, integrating school work and homework develops complete and responsible citizens. Learning to work on your homework teaches you to be a responsible person. You will learn how to plan and prioritize the responsibilities that are at hand. Therefore, the reasons behind the invention of homework goes beyond academic life and extends to the social life of the student. However, it is important to have some understanding on the personality who invented homework and school.

Finally, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of homework so as to get the best results. Involving students in the assessment process is critical as they are the main target. Ask them whether they are benefiting from these assignments of not. You can also watch some of the development that is evident among students to tell if you are adding some value or not. Lecturers should also practice a lot of flexibility while giving homework so as to achieve the desired learning objectives.

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History of Homework

The History Of Homework: How It All Started And When?

Homework tasks are an important part of academic life, as they facilitate the entire learning process. They are assigned to the students to help them clarify their concepts by indulging in deep analysis with self-study. But, the thought of working on the history of homework assignments overwhelms many students out there. They experience an instant fear and start seeing these assignments as a burden. The homework tasks have become quite complex due to the increasing competition. Nowadays, people prefer hiring professional homework help  to ensure high scores in their subjects.

Table of Contents I liked the piano. I always liked playing. And I just hated homework. What Is The Concept Of Homework? Here, homework is not a punishment. They really like coming to homework club. We want it to feel like home. History Of Homework: The Origins 1. Pliny The Younger:  2. Roberto Nevilis Of Venice: 3. Horace Mann:  My homework was not stolen by a one-armed man The Anti-Homework Wave Homework: A Form Of Child Labor 1. Homework In The Progressive Early & Mid 20th Century 2. The Cold War & Homework 3. Homework As A National Risk 4. Early 21st Century & The Homework Ban 5. Homework In The 21st Century We’ve done our homework and we think we’re going to be good with the Charger. Why Is Home Teaching An Essential Requirement? Conclusion I liked the piano. I always liked playing. And I just hated homework. — Mike Shinoda

But, do you ever wonder how did homework come into the picture? Who even invented homework, and for what purpose? In this blog, we will dig deep and reveal all these interesting facts for you.

What Is The Concept Of Homework?

Homework is a task or assignment work given to students by their teachers in school, college, or University. It has to be managed in the home premises and then submitted to the assigners. It usually includes the subjects and topics concerning the concepts that taught in the classroom .

The purpose behind the allotment of homework is to motivate the students to revise their concepts and ensure they have a fair understanding of the topics. This way, they have a better idea about their subjects, and there is a good scope for exploring further.

Homework remains an integral part of academics throughout the educational span. It empowers them by adding to their knowledge and allowing scope for the constant practice of the subjects. Working on a pile of homework assignments could be cumbersome for many. A professional  homework help  specialist could be a good option to unburden yourself.

Here, homework is not a punishment. They really like coming to homework club. We want it to feel like home. — Amy Campbell  

History Of Homework: The Origins

History of Homework: The Origin

Homework is an age-old concept, and there are many speculations about its origination. As per the researches, various events and personalities are often believed to influence the origins of homework.

Here, let us introduce you to two of the most popular, and accredited personalities in the history of homework.

1. Pliny The Younger: 

The earliest traces of the existence of homework can be traced back to ancient Rome, when a Roman educator and teacher on oratory, Pliny the Younger , gave birth to this concept. He instructed the students to indulge in at-home activities. It all happened in Quintilian. The goal of these practice exercises was to encourage people to develop their public speaking skills, in a rather casual environment.

2. Roberto Nevilis Of Venice:

In 1905, an Italian educator, Roberto Nevilis is credited to start the practice of assigning homework to students, as per various sources. There are rumors that Nevilis often used homework to punish his students. Later on, homework exercises started impacting the performance positively. It made homework a regular task all over the globe. But, as per further inspection this claim seems like a myth.

3. Horace Mann: 

In the 19 th  century , an educationist reformer and politician, Horace Mann came forward with his revolutionary idea to implement homework as a regular task all around the world. He possessed a deep interest in transforming the German education system by making public education mandatory. Needless to say, it was a part of his political goals, which possibly facilitated the concept of homework becoming a necessary task nationwide.

But, how did Horace Mann came forward with this life-changing idea?

It all started when Horace Mann visited Volksschulen, a people’s school during his trip to Germany somewhere around 1843. In Volksschulen, mandatory assignment work was a part of their academic essential. Students were allotted specified tasks to do at home. They have to be complete within a particular time frame with homework help  from their friends and family. Keeping his political enthusiasm in mind, Horace Mann brought the idea to America.

My homework was not stolen by a one-armed man — Nancy Cartwright

The Anti-Homework Wave

Back in 1901 when the concept of homework was gaining popularity across various geographical locations, the Pacific State of California banned homework. As per the reports published in several prominent newspapers of that time, including The New York Times, parents and medical experts declared homework to be extremely dangerous for children’s health.

Homework: A Form Of Child Labor

Homework: A Form of Child Labor

Yes, homework was indeed proclaimed as a form of child labor by American Child Health Association in 1930.

1. Homework In The Progressive Early & Mid 20 th  Century

The late 19 th  and early 20 th  centuries shaped a positive image of homework. This was the rise of the progressive era, where teachers started working on ways to transform homework into more personalized assignments that fit the requirements to meet the needs of individual students. Maybe this is when students started indulging their peers and family in their at-home tasks for  homework help .

2. The Cold War & Homework

After World War II , the Cold War started between Russia and America. The heating competition to outperform one another made U.S. authorities introduce meticulous homework in their education system to make sure that the American students achieve a higher success ratio in science and mathematics than the Russians.

3. Homework As A National Risk

In the 1980s, the U.S National Commission on Excellence in Education published a landmark report where it declared homework as an element that puts the nation at risk.

4. Early 21 st  Century & The Homework Ban

Due to the rising concerns of citizens and educators, the importance of homework was questioned again. Several published books from that era on this subject are the evidence.

5. Homework In The 21 st  Century

In the 21 st century, homework has become a vital aspect of the education system. It is constantly supported by the teachers, parents, as well as experts. Today, homework is consider as a crucial element to encourage the development of skills and critical thinking in the learners. The internet-driven modern era even has introduced the unique concept of professional assignment help . Various online services provide expert guidance to students who find it difficult to manage their complicated homework assignments daunting.

We’ve done our homework and we think we’re going to be good with the Charger. — John Fernandez

Why Is Home Teaching An Essential Requirement?

It is needless to say that the education system has evolved significantly since the early era. However, the educators prefer adhering to the traditional concepts as they perceive the home learning experience to be quite efficient. The assignments for  homework help  in the development of creativity, independence, and individual thoughts process.

Here are some of the significant points to support the fact that home learning experience is highly useful:

  • Scientific concepts demand constant practice and repeated revisions.
  • One can only achieve great results in the subjects that taught in class, with thorough learning. Else, the students may forget the material.
  • At-home learning is an excellent approach for enhancing students’ skills and talents.
  • The memorization of subjects is a practical way to gain expertise.
  • The efforts of teachers may go in vain if the assimilated study material is not revise by the students, on time. Back in time, educationists understood this well which resulted in at-home learning and made the educational process a lot easier.

Working on the homework tasks, or home learning involves some major stages:

  • Comprehension
  • Accelerating the process
  • Development of new skills
  • Applying the gained knowledge and skills practically

This is a promising way to empower the development skills in the learners which pushes them to go ahead and open the doors of success with a new perspective.

Homework is a form of home learning experience that has been through several ups and downs ever since its introduction in the education system. Despite being an integral part of the academic culture, homework remains a controversial concept. However, nobody can deny the exceptional benefits that homework offers. Recently there has been a spike in the services that offer custom  homework help to students. This makes it a lot easier for them to manage both, their studies and assignments.

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Who Invented Homework

by tutlance | Aug 30, 2021 | Homework

Who invented homework?

The topic of “ who created 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.

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.

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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: People

When most people think of homework, they probably conjure up images of bored children hunched over their desks, dutifully completing their assignments. However, the history of homework is much more interesting than that. Over the centuries, there have been many different people who have influenced its development, from educational theorists to political leaders.

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We will discuss two main people who have influenced the history of homework. They include:

Roberto Nevilis of Venice:

Depending on certain sources, Roberto is regarded as the person who created 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 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.

Horace Mann

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 19 th 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.

Who invented 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 19 th 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.

Who invented homework: Is it 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:

  • comprehension
  • 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.

Who Invented Homework: The Objectives

Roberto Nevelis believed that homework could be used to teach students how to be independent and self-motivated learners. While this may sound like common sense today, it was a revolutionary idea at the time.

So, what were Nevelis’ objectives for creating homework?

Promoting self-discipline

First, he believed that it would promote self-discipline. By requiring students to complete assigned tasks at home, teachers can instill the importance of completing tasks on time and to the best of one’s ability.

Teach time management skills

Second, he thought it would help students learn how to manage their time effectively. Homework can help students learn how to budget their time and take responsibility for their own learning. As students become more independent and responsible for their own work, they will likely carry these skills into other areas of their lives.

Enhancing understanding

He also believed that homework could enhance understanding. By working through the material at home, students can better retain and understand the concepts they are learning in class.

Foster critical and independent thinking

Another objective of creating homework is to foster independence. Homework allows students to work through problems on their own and to figure out solutions without the help of a teacher. This develops important critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

While homework has evolved over the years, these objectives remain at their core. Today, homework is an essential part of the educational process, and we have Roberto Nevelis to thank for it.

Who Invented Homework: What Went happened?

Nevilis’ motivations for introducing homework were basically to keep students busy and out of trouble. Unfortunately, this is often still seen as the primary purpose of homework today. As a result, homework has become a source of stress and frustration for both students and parents. It can take away from important family time and extracurricular activities, and it can lead to sleep deprivation and cheating. In addition, there is mounting evidence that too much homework can be counterproductive, leading to reduced interest in learning and decreased academic achievement.

So what went wrong? To put it simply, homework was invented with good intentions but it has not been used effectively. It is time to re-evaluate the role of homework in education and to focus on using it in ways that will benefit students and families.

Disadvantages of the invention of homework

Homework has long been a controversial topic. Proponents of homework argue that it reinforces what was learned in class and helps prepare students for upcoming tests. However, detractors claim that homework is a needless burden that takes away valuable family time. So, what are the disadvantages of homework?

Homework can take away from family time.

In today’s busy world, families often have little time to spend together. Homework can cut into the limited time that children have to play or simply relax. In addition, it can add to the already heavy workload of parents who must also help their children with their homework.

Encourages cheating

Another disadvantage of homework is that it can lead to cheating. When students are given assignments that they cannot complete on their own, they may be tempted to copy the work of their classmates or even resort to plagiarism. Cheating not only hurts the student who cheated but also damages the educational system as a whole.

Causes stress

Homework can be a source of stress for both students and parents. The pressure to complete assignments on time can be overwhelming, especially when coupled with the other demands of school and extracurricular activities. This stress can lead to anxiety and depression, which can have far-reaching effects on a student’s health and well-being.

Advantages of the invention of homework

Despite the disadvantages, there are some advantages to homework. When used effectively, homework can be a valuable tool that helps students learn and retain information. It can also be a way for families to spend time together and bond over shared interests.

Helps students learn and retain information

Homework can help students learn and retain information. When students are given assignments that are carefully crafted to help them practice and apply what they have learned in class, they are more likely to remember and understand the material.

Allows families to bond over shared interests

Homework can also be a way for families to bond over shared interests. When parents help their children with their homework, they can learn about what their children are learning in school and share in their successes. In addition, homework can be a fun way for families to spend time together working on projects or playing games.

In conclusion, homework was invented with good intentions but it has not been used effectively. It is time to re-evaluate the role of homework in education and to focus on using it in ways that will benefit students and families.

What do you think? Is homework a necessary part of the learning process or is it a burden that takes away from valuable family time?

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who invented homework first

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who invented homework first

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Who Invented Homework?

The origin of homework is unclear and it has likely been assigned to students in various forms throughout history. However, the modern concept of homework, as regular, outside-of-class assignments to be completed by students, can be traced back to the late 19th century in the United States. The idea of homework was popularized by Italian educator Roberto Nevilis, who is often credited as the “inventor of homework.”

Objectives of Homework are to:

  • Reinforce and deepen understanding of class material
  • Promote independent learning and critical thinking
  • Prepare students for upcoming lessons and exams
  • Develop study habits and time-management skills
  • Provide opportunities for students to apply and practice what they have learned.

Features of Homework Include:

  • Assigned by teachers to reinforce classroom learning
  • Typically completed outside of regular class time
  • Can be individual or group work
  • Can include a variety of tasks such as writing, reading, problem-solving, or research
  • Often graded or evaluated as part of a student’s overall academic performance.

There have been numerous studies and articles on the topic of homework, covering various aspects such as its effectiveness, impact on student well-being, and approaches to assigning and completing homework. Some related resources include:

  • The National Education Association’s recommendations for homework, suggest a maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night
  • The meta-analysis “The Relationship Between Homework and Academic Achievement: A Synthesis of Research, 1987-2003” by Harris Cooper and colleagues, finds a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, particularly for older students
  • The article “Too Much Homework Is Bad for Kids” by Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish, argues that excessive homework can lead to negative effects on students’ health, well-being, and family life
  • The book “The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing” by Alfie Kohn, critiques the assumptions and practices surrounding homework and proposes alternatives.

Ways Forward to Improve Exams and Assessment Practices Include:

  • Incorporating a variety of assessment methods, such as projects, presentations, and performance tasks, to better evaluate students’ knowledge and skills
  • Providing timely and detailed feedback to students to support their learning
  • Allowing for open-book or open-note exams encourages students to use their resources and apply their knowledge
  • Implementing technology-enhanced assessments, such as online testing and automated grading, to increase efficiency and fairness
  • Incorporating formative assessments, such as quizzes and progress checks, to provide ongoing evaluation of student learning. For example, a school might use a mix of traditional exams, class projects, and self-reflection assignments to assess student learning in a history course.

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Who invented Homework? When, Where and Why

Who invented Homework? In this article we will find out What is homework? When, Where and Why was homework invented? 

who invented homework first

Yes, everything seems better and more interesting than doing homework! I mean, we have all spent hours staring at the wall instead of doing homework, right? But I won’t lie, my first thought while doing my homework in school days was always “WHO INVENTED HOMEWORK & WHY?” Let’s find out!

What is homework?

According to collinsdictionary, homework, an uncountable noun, is school work that teachers give to pupils to do at home in the evening or at the weekend.  

Although homework is generally associated with school students, college students also get homework. Thus, it can be said that homework is any task or activity that teachers/professors assign to the students to be done outside the school hours, from their home. 

Who invented homework?

Even Google missed their homework on the topic “homework” (pun intended), not joking though. 

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Yes! Google does not have a cent-percent answer on who actually came up with the concept of homework. The results from Google about the inventor of homework are ambiguous. 

However, let’s have a look at the data collected from the search on Google about who invented homework:

  • Roberto Nevelis of Venice

Did Roberto Nevelis create homework?

Mr. Nevelis is probably one of the most hated people amongst the student communities because he is one of the first persons who has been associated with the credits for the infamous process of homework. 

According to the tales on the internet, t he person who invented Homework was an Italian teacher named Roberto Nevilis. He invented Homework in 1905 as a punishment for his students.

If you think you will have to go find out more about this person, don’t worry, we have got you covered:

Upon doing a little more search on Roberto Nevelis of Venice, infamous for his dubious relationship with homework, we found out that not only is Mr Nevelis’ title as the inventor of homework unreliable, his very existence is doubtful too! Yes, that means there might not have been a Roberto Nevelis of Venice at all. He might just be a fictional character created by someone, probably whilst skipping their homework.

If not Roberto Nevelis, then who?

  • Horace Mann

Did Horace Mann create homework?

Who invented Homework? When, Where and Why

Horace Mann, the father of American education might just be the father of homework as well! 

Horace Mann is considered one of the very first American advocates of public education. As state secretary of education, Mann, who believed in free education, supported reforms to make education universal, nonsectarian, and reliant on well-trained, professional teachers. 

Thus, homework could be one of the reforms of refined public education that he supported.

But, let us dig a little deeper:

  • Pliny the Younger

Upon trying to get some more information, it came to light that the first mention of homework appears in the writings of Pliny the Younger, dating back to 1AD.

Pliny the Younger source wikipedia

In ancient Rome, Pliny the Younger was a teacher of oratory, and is thought to have asked his students to practise their public speaking at home, to help them build confidence.

With time, homework became more and more common as schooling became compulsory for many people across the world, towards the end of the 19th century.

Now, if we go to a student’s best friend - Wikipedia - a completely different picture has been painted. Ofcourse, you don’t have to go read that long entry there as we have summarised the whole thing here, for you:

The American Story of Homework

So, according to Wikipedia, homework has been a part of American education but already few pupils managed to pursue education and the baggage of homework discouraged even those few. In fact, it was frowned upon by the parents and even some schools. Journalist Edward Bok protested against schools giving homework to pupils until they were 15 years old, in 1900. He was supported by 1000s of parents. While soon there were laws for children not getting any homework at all, teenagers could have had homeworks assigned but not anything that required more than two hours of time. Then In 1901, an act passed by the California legislature abolished homework for anyone under the age of 15.

However, with the cold war between the US and Soviet Union, the rise of competition led to the re-emergence of the homework culture. And as mentioned earlier, homework became more and more common towards the end of the 19th century. 

Why do students get homework?

Even though we all have our own fair share of bittersweet feelings about it, homework comes it with its own pros:

  • Homework gives both students and parents an opportunity to re-view class works.  
  • Homework teaches students the skill of problem solving and taking responsibility for their part in their education.  

why and why not homework picture by unsplash

Why should students NOT get homework?

With students spending almost one-fourth of their day in school, having daily homework for all the various subjects being taught leaves the student with little to no time for themselves. This, consequently, promotes the culture of “All work, no play”. 

CONCLUSION: Who invented Homework? When, Where and Why

Whoever invented homework, must have had some right reasons. With passing time and increasing competition, the pressure on students has risen quite high. In this era, maintaining the right balance between school work, homework and free time for students is very necessary to help students love the process of learning and not loath it. 

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Who invented homework and why? Everything you need to know about homework invention and history

If you've stayed up late finishing homework, you might be curious about its origins. The education staple has been around for a while, intending to improve student learning and performance. However, its genesis still needs to be determined, with many sources presenting conflicting details regarding its inception. So, when did students start receiving home assignments? And who invented homework?

Who invented homework

Everybody has been through late-night study sessions battling endless assignments. Though not a student favourite, homework is alleged to improve academic performance. But how effective is it, and where did the practice come from?

Who invented homework and why?

Who created homework? An Italian teacher from Venice, known as Roberto Novelis, is reported to have allegedly invented homework in 1095 or 1905. He reportedly started homework as a means of punishing non-performing students.

However, the credibility of this claim is questionable because of various historical facts. In the first claim, Roberto Novelis reportedly invented homework in 1095, years before formal education entered Europe.

who invented homework first

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According to the World History Encyclopedia , 1095 was the beginning of the First Crusade envisaged by Pope Urban II. Therefore, based on this historical fact, Roberto couldn't have invented homework when education was informal.

For example, organised national formal education started in the 19th century in regions like the United Kingdom.

The other claim of having invented it in 1905 is incorrect, as four years earlier, in 1901, California had passed an act banning homework for students younger than 15. Therefore, Robert couldn't have invented homework in 1905 if it had already existed in the USA in 1901.

Who created homework? History vs myth

Who invented homework

The claim pinning Roberto Novelis with inventing homework is false since there is no evidence of his existence. At best, the Italian teacher is an internet myth.

According to history, education existed in the earliest civilisations, like the Sumerians, who were the first to develop the school system. Schools, called edubba or tablet houses, were used to teach, and students wrote on dried clay tablets.

who invented homework first

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However, there is no evidence of the Sumerians handing out homework, as most of their education system differed from today's.

The Holy Roman Empire created church schools in the Middle Ages to educate future clergy members, as the 1215 Fourth Council of the Lateran specified. The Protestant Reformation's Sunday schools later adopted the concept.

First, secular schools emerged during the Pietism movement in the late 17th century and were further encouraged by Enlightenment proponents.

Frederick William I

King Frederick William I of Prussia established mandatory education , the Volksschule , for children aged five to twelve in 1717. They were required to read, write, and memorise the Protestant catechism.

King Frederick the Great

King Frederick the Great established the first Prussian general school statute , drafted by theologian Johann Julius Hecker, in 1763. Students enrolled in Volksschule or people's schools were assigned mandatory homework for home study at home on their own time. This requirement emphasised the state's control over the individual.

who invented homework first

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Other names associated with the invention of homework include Pluby the Younger and Johann Gottlieb Fichte.

Horace Mann

Who invented homework

Horace Mann was a politician, professor of education, and educational reformer. He was fascinated by Germany's compulsory schooling system. Mann travelled to Germany in 1843 to explore the educational process.

After returning to the United States, he used his experiences to advocate for the joint school movement in Massachusetts. Therefore, in adopting the German system, Horace brought homework to the United States .

  • Who created homework? The name associated with making the education staple is Robert Novelis. However, the credibility of the information surrounding Robert Novelis' alleged invention is sketchy.
  • What is the concept of homework? It is a set of assignments assigned to students by their teachers for completion outside of the classroom setting.
  • How did the person who invented homework die? Per the myth surrounding the alleged inventor, he reportedly died in an accident or was murdered.
  • Was homework invented as a punishment? The myth of Robert Novelis claims it was punishment for non-performing students. However, its German origins show it was a form of governance.
  • Is homework becoming illegal? No, it isn't. The practice is legal in the USA, with schools in different states allowed to set rules.
  • Why did homework get banned? It was forbidden in California in 1901 to students under 15 over concerns that it endangered children's mental and physical health.
  • How long did the California homework ban last? It began in 1901 and lasted until 1917.

who invented homework first

20 influential people who changed the world as we know it

Who invented homework? There is no established name associated with the development of the educational practice. However, Roberto Novelis is repeatedly mentioned online as the inventor. But despite his alleged involvement, no verification of his existence exists in respected historical texts. published an exciting piece about when running was invented . Though it might seem funny to think that somebody invented running, you will be surprised by the genuine queries surrounding it.

Humans and most animals are born with the ability to run. In addition, humans have honed their capacity and turned it into a sport. But have you ever wondered if there was a time when animals and people did not run?


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  1. Who Invented Homework ️ Why & When Was it Invented? History and Facts

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  2. Who invented homework and why homework was invented?

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  3. Who invented homework?

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  4. Who Invented Homework ? The Guy That Changed Schooling System

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  5. Who Invented Homework and When?

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  6. The person who invented Homework was an Italian teacher named Roberto

    who invented homework first


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  1. Who Invented Homework and Why Was It Invented?

    Pliny the Younger: When in Ancient Rome Mentions of the term "homework" date back to as early as ancient Rome. In I century AD, Pliny the Younger, an oratory teacher, supposedly invented homework by asking his followers to practice public speaking at home. It was to help them become more confident and fluent in their speeches.

  2. Who Invented Homework? The History of a School Staple

    The Dubious Roberto Nevelis of Venice Roberto Nevelis of Venice, Italy, is often credited with having invented homework in 1095—or 1905, depending on your sources. Upon further inspection,...

  3. Homework

    Children preparing homework on the street, Tel Aviv, 1954 Homework is a set of tasks assigned to students by their teachers to be completed at home. Common homework assignments may include required reading, a writing or typing project, mathematical exercises to be completed, information to be reviewed before a test, or other skills to be practiced.

  4. Who Invented Homework ️ Why & When Was it Invented? History and Facts

    Johann Gottlieb Fichte Credit: Before the idea of homework came to the United States, Germany's newly formed nation-state had been giving students homework for years.

  5. Who Invented Homework?

    Homework is typically credited to Roberto Nevelis of Venice, Italy, who invented it in 1095—or 1905, depending on your sources. However, upon closer examination, he appears to be more of an internet legend than a genuine figure. Horace Mann

  6. Who Invented Homework?

    The Birth of Homework: Roberto Nevilis and His Vision Homework, as we know it today, was invented by a school teacher from Venice, Italy, named Roberto Nevilis. As an innovative educator, Nevilis started to give his students assignments to be done outside of school time in 1905.

  7. Debunking the Myth of Roberto Nevilis: Who Really Invented Homework?

    Source: Nevilis was supposedly a teacher based in Venice, Italy when he invented homework. Some claim that he invented it in 1095, while others claim he invented it in 1905 before it spread to Europe and to the rest of the world. It was said to be a form of punishment for students who underperformed in class.

  8. Who Invented Homework?

    Updated September 14, 2023 Who Invented Homework? Exploring the Fascinating Origins and Impact Your planner is cracking with assignments. You need to cram again, write, decide, learn, and invent. Homework puts pressure on your mind. You only want to find the guy who came up with the homework and ask: "Friend, why did you do this?".

  9. Pro and Con: Homework

    From dioramas to book reports, from algebraic word problems to research projects, whether students should be given homework, as well as the type and amount of homework, has been debated for over a century. While we are unsure who invented homework, we do know that the word "homework" dates back to ancient Rome. Pliny the Younger asked his ...

  10. Origin and Death of Inventor of Homework: Roberto Nevilis

    The inventor of homework is widely considered to be Roberto Nevilis, an Italian educator who lived in the early 20th century. We will briefly explore Nevilis' life, how he came up with the concept of homework, and the circumstances surrounding his death. Roberto Nevilis: The Man Behind Homework Roberto Nevilis was born in Venice, Italy, in 1879.

  11. Who Invented Homework?

    Homework is the bane of all students' existence, and something they've tried to get out of more than once. Almost no one likes doing it, so who invented homework in the first place, and why? It's almost universally acknowledged that Roberto Nevilis was the first to issue homework to his students. He was teaching in Venice around 1095.

  12. Who Invented Homework: Revealing Its Interesting History

    Jessica Lewis on Unsplash So, who invented homework? Straight out of the bat, the name of the person who gave us restless nights is none other than Roberto Nevilis. He came up with the homework invention back in 1095 as an Italian teacher in Venice, Italy.

  13. Who Invented Homework? Information And History Of Homework

    The History Of A School Staple Homework is a daily part of life for students around the world. But who made homework? Who was the genius behind this after-school routine? Let's dive into the history and origins of homework to uncover how it became such an established part of education systems. Table of Contents An Introduction To Homework

  14. Who Invented Homework and Why

    When homework was first invented by Pliny the Younger, it was to help students improve their skills in a less formal environment. Robert Nevilis is said to have started homework to punish students. But the person who invented homework and made it a global system was Horace Mann.

  15. Who Invented School Homework? [When, Where & How]

    The very first homework assignment can be traced all the way back to 1905 when an Italian teacher named Roberto Nevilis first invented the idea. He wanted his students to get used to thinking for themselves, so he gave them assignments that would require them to look up information and use it in their work.

  16. Who Invented Homework and Why

    A common internet fact is that Roberto Nevilis was one of the first people to properly assign homework in the year 1095. He was an Italian pedagogue living in Venice who allegedly assigned homework as a punishment to lackluster students.

  17. Who Invented Homework? Tracing the Origins and Innovators

    Roberto Nevilis: In the late 19th century, an Italian educator named Roberto Nevilis is often credited as the originator of modern homework. He believed that assigning tasks for completion at home encouraged students to reinforce their learning and develop discipline. b.

  18. Who Invented Homework and Why is It Important to Students

    Quick facts about homework to get you started: Homework was first invented in 1905 by the Italian teacher Roberto Nevilis.However, some historians argue that its origins go back to the Ancient Rome and the teacher of oratory Pliny.; Initially, it was created as a punishment to students, as Roberto Nevilis was disappointed with his student's performance.

  19. The History Of Homework: How It All Started And When?

    1. Pliny The Younger: The earliest traces of the existence of homework can be traced back to ancient Rome, when a Roman educator and teacher on oratory, Pliny the Younger, gave birth to this concept. He instructed the students to indulge in at-home activities. It all happened in Quintilian.

  20. Who Invented Homework

    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.

  21. Who Invented Homework?

    The idea of homework was popularized by Italian educator Roberto Nevilis, who is often credited as the "inventor of homework." Objectives of Homework are to: Reinforce and deepen understanding of class material Promote independent learning and critical thinking Prepare students for upcoming lessons and exams

  22. Who invented Homework? When, Where and Why

    Upon doing a little more search on Roberto Nevelis of Venice, infamous for his dubious relationship with homework, we found out that not only is Mr Nevelis' title as the inventor of homework...

  23. Who invented homework and why? Everything you need to know about

    In the first claim, Roberto Novelis reportedly invented homework in 1095, years before formal education entered Europe. Read also How it went down: Three accounts of the Lehman bankruptcy According to the World History Encyclopedia, 1095 was the beginning of the First Crusade envisaged by Pope Urban II.