The Big Question: Who Invented Homework?

who created homework and why

Crystal Bourque

who created homework and why

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 created homework and why


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 created homework and why


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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History Cooperative

The Homework Dilemma: Who Invented Homework?

The inventor of homework may be unknown, but its evolution reflects contributions from educators, philosophers, and students. Homework reinforces learning, fosters discipline, and prepares students for the future, spanning from ancient civilizations to modern education. Ongoing debates probe its balance, efficacy, equity, and accessibility, prompting innovative alternatives like project-based and personalized learning. As education evolves, the enigma of homework endures.

Table of Contents

Who Invented Homework?

While historical records don’t provide a definitive answer regarding the inventor of homework in the modern sense, two prominent figures, Roberto Nevelis of Venice and Horace Mann, are often linked to the concept’s early development.

Roberto Nevelis of Venice: A Mythical Innovator?

Roberto Nevelis, a Venetian educator from the 16th century, is frequently credited with the invention of homework. The story goes that Nevelis assigned tasks to his students outside regular classroom hours to reinforce their learning—a practice that aligns with the essence of homework. However, the historical evidence supporting Nevelis as the inventor of homework is rather elusive, leaving room for skepticism.

While Nevelis’s role remains somewhat mythical, his association with homework highlights the early recognition of the concept’s educational value.

Horace Mann: Shaping the American Educational Landscape

Horace Mann, often regarded as the “Father of American Education,” made significant contributions to the American public school system in the 19th century. Though he may not have single-handedly invented homework, his educational reforms played a crucial role in its widespread adoption.

Mann’s vision for education emphasized discipline and rigor, which included assigning tasks to be completed outside of the classroom. While he did not create homework in the traditional sense, his influence on the American education system paved the way for its integration.

The invention of homework was driven by several educational objectives. It aimed to reinforce classroom learning, ensuring knowledge retention and skill development. Homework also served as a means to promote self-discipline and responsibility among students, fostering valuable study habits and time management skills.

Why Was Homework Invented?

The invention of homework was not a random educational practice but rather a deliberate strategy with several essential objectives in mind.

Reinforcing Classroom Learning

Foremost among these objectives was the need to reinforce classroom learning. When students leave the classroom, the goal is for them to retain and apply the knowledge they have acquired during their lessons. Homework emerged as a powerful tool for achieving this goal. It provided students with a structured platform to revisit the day’s lessons, practice what they had learned, and solidify their understanding.

Homework assignments often mirrored classroom activities, allowing students to extend their learning beyond the confines of school hours. Through the repetition of exercises and tasks related to the curriculum, students could deepen their comprehension and mastery of various subjects.

Fostering Self-Discipline and Responsibility

Another significant objective behind the creation of homework was the promotion of self-discipline and responsibility among students. Education has always been about more than just the acquisition of knowledge; it also involves the development of life skills and habits that prepare individuals for future challenges.

By assigning tasks to be completed independently at home, educators aimed to instill valuable study habits and time management skills. Students were expected to take ownership of their learning, manage their time effectively, and meet deadlines—a set of skills that have enduring relevance in contemporary education and beyond.

Homework encouraged students to become proactive in their educational journey. It taught them the importance of accountability and the satisfaction of completing tasks on their own. These life skills would prove invaluable in their future endeavors, both academically and in the broader context of their lives.

When Was Homework Invented?

The roots of homework stretch deep into the annals of history, tracing its origins to ancient civilizations and early educational practices. While it has undergone significant evolution over the centuries, the concept of extending learning beyond the classroom has always been an integral part of education.

Earliest Origins of Homework and Early Educational Practices

The idea of homework, in its most rudimentary form, can be traced back to the earliest human civilizations. In ancient Egypt , for instance, students were tasked with hieroglyphic writing exercises. These exercises served as a precursor to modern homework, as they required students to practice and reinforce their understanding of written language—an essential skill for communication and record-keeping in that era.

In ancient Greece , luminaries like Plato and Aristotle advocated for the use of written exercises as a tool for intellectual development. They recognized the value of practice in enhancing one’s knowledge and skills, laying the foundation for a more systematic approach to homework.

The ancient Romans also played a pivotal role in the early development of homework. Young Roman students were expected to complete assignments at home, with a particular focus on subjects like mathematics and literature. These assignments were designed to consolidate their classroom learning, emphasizing the importance of practice in mastering various disciplines.

READ MORE: Who Invented Math? The History of Mathematics

The practice of assigning work to be done outside of regular school hours continued to evolve through various historical periods. As societies advanced, so did the complexity and diversity of homework tasks, reflecting the changing needs and priorities of education.

The Influence of Educational Philosophers

While the roots of homework extend to ancient times, the ideas of renowned educational philosophers in later centuries further contributed to its development. John Locke, an influential thinker of the Enlightenment era, believed in a gradual and cumulative approach to learning. He emphasized the importance of students revisiting topics through repetition and practice, a concept that aligns with the principles of homework.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, another prominent philosopher, stressed the significance of self-directed learning. Rousseau’s ideas encouraged the development of independent study habits and a personalized approach to education—a philosophy that resonates with modern concepts of homework.

Homework in the American Public School System

The American public school system has played a pivotal role in the widespread adoption and popularization of homework. To understand the significance of homework in modern education, it’s essential to delve into its history and evolution within the United States.

History and Evolution of Homework in the United States

The late 19th century marked a significant turning point for homework in the United States. During this period, influenced by educational reforms and the growing need for standardized curricula, homework assignments began to gain prominence in American schools.

Educational reformers and policymakers recognized the value of homework as a tool for reinforcing classroom learning. They believed that assigning tasks for students to complete outside of regular school hours would help ensure that knowledge was retained and skills were honed. This approach aligned with the broader trends in education at the time, which aimed to provide a more structured and systematic approach to learning.

As the American public school system continued to evolve, homework assignments became a common practice in classrooms across the nation. The standardization of curricula and the formalization of education contributed to the integration of homework into the learning process. This marked a significant departure from earlier educational practices, reflecting a shift toward more structured and comprehensive learning experiences.

The incorporation of homework into the American education system not only reinforced classroom learning but also fostered self-discipline and responsibility among students. It encouraged them to take ownership of their educational journey and develop valuable study habits and time management skills—a legacy that continues to influence modern pedagogy.

Controversies Around Homework

Despite its longstanding presence in education, homework has not been immune to controversy and debate. While many view it as a valuable educational tool, others question its effectiveness and impact on students’ well-being.

The Homework Debate

One of the central controversies revolves around the amount of homework assigned to students. Critics argue that excessive homework loads can lead to stress, sleep deprivation, and a lack of free time for students. The debate often centers on striking the right balance between homework and other aspects of a student’s life, including extracurricular activities, family time, and rest.

Homework’s Efficacy

Another contentious issue pertains to the efficacy of homework in enhancing learning outcomes. Some studies suggest that moderate amounts of homework can reinforce classroom learning and improve academic performance. However, others question whether all homework assignments contribute equally to learning or whether some may be more beneficial than others. The effectiveness of homework can vary depending on factors such as the student’s grade level, the subject matter, and the quality of the assignment.

Equity and Accessibility

Homework can also raise concerns related to equity and accessibility. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds may have limited access to resources and support at home, potentially putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to completing homework assignments. This disparity has prompted discussions about the role of homework in perpetuating educational inequalities and how schools can address these disparities.

Alternative Approaches to Learning

In response to the controversies surrounding homework, educators and researchers have explored alternative approaches to learning. These approaches aim to strike a balance between reinforcing classroom learning and promoting holistic student well-being. Some alternatives include:

Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning emphasizes hands-on, collaborative projects that allow students to apply their knowledge to real-world problems. This approach shifts the focus from traditional homework assignments to engaging, practical learning experiences.

Flipped Classrooms

Flipped classrooms reverse the traditional teaching model. Students learn new material at home through video lectures or readings and then use class time for interactive discussions and activities. This approach reduces the need for traditional homework while promoting active learning.

Personalized Learning

Personalized learning tailors instruction to individual students’ needs, allowing them to progress at their own pace. This approach minimizes the need for one-size-fits-all homework assignments and instead focuses on targeted learning experiences.

The Ongoing Conversation

The controversies surrounding homework highlight the need for an ongoing conversation about its role in education. Striking the right balance between reinforcing learning and addressing students’ well-being remains a complex challenge. As educators, parents, and researchers continue to explore innovative approaches to learning, the role of homework in the modern educational landscape continues to evolve. Ultimately, the goal is to provide students with the most effective and equitable learning experiences possible.

Unpacking the Homework Enigma

Homework, without a single inventor, has evolved through educators, philosophers, and students. It reinforces learning, fosters discipline and prepares students. From ancient times to modern education, it upholds timeless values. Yet, controversies arise—debates on balance, efficacy, equity, and accessibility persist. Innovative alternatives like project-based and personalized learning emerge. Homework’s role evolves with education.

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who created homework and why

Who Invented Homework and Why

who created homework and why

Who Created Homework?

Italian pedagog, Roberto Nevilis, was believed to have invented homework back in 1905 to help his students foster productive studying habits outside of school. However, we'll sound find out that the concept of homework has been around for much longer.                                                                                                                                                              

Homework, which most likely didn't have a specific term back then, already existed even in ancient civilizations. Think Greece, Rome, and even ancient Egypt. Over time, homework became standardized in our educational systems. This happened naturally over time, as the development of the formal education system continued.                                                        

In this article, we're going to attempt to find out who invented homework, and when was homework invented, and we're going to uncover if the creator of homework is a single person or a group of them. Read this article through to the end to find out.

Who Invented Homework and When?

It is commonly believed that Roberto Nevelis from Venice, Italy, is the originator of homework. Depending on various sources, this invention is dated either in the year 1095 or 1905.

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

Stories and speculations on the internet claim Roberto Nevilis is the one who invented school homework, or at least was the first person to assign homework back in 1905.

Who was he? He was an Italian educator who lived in Venice. He wanted to discipline and motivate his class of lackluster students. Unfortunately, claims online lack factual basis and strong proof that Roberto did invent homework.                                                                                                        

Homework, as a concept, predates Roberto, and can't truly be assigned to a sole inventor. Moreover, it's hard to quantify where an idea truly emerges, because many ideas emerge from different parts of the world simultaneously or at similar times, therefore it's hard to truly pinpoint who invented this idea.

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?

Homework's history and objectives have evolved significantly over time, reflecting changing educational goals. Now, that we've gone through its history a bit, let's try to understand the "why". The people or people who made homework understood the advantages of it. Let's consider the following:                                                  

  • Repetition, a key factor in long-term memory retention, is a primary goal of homework. It helps students solidify class-learned information. This is especially true in complex subjects like physics, where physics homework help can prove invaluable to learning effectively.
  • Homework bridges classroom learning with real-world applications, enhancing memory and understanding.
  • It identifies individual student weaknesses, allowing focused efforts to address them.
  • Working independently at their own pace, students can overcome the distractions and constraints of a classroom setting through homework.
  • By creating a continuous learning flow, homework shifts the perspective from viewing each school day as isolated to seeing education as an ongoing process.
  • Homework is crucial for subjects like mathematics and sciences, where repetition is necessary to internalize complex processes.
  • It's a tool for teachers to maximize classroom time, focusing on expanding understanding rather than just drilling fundamentals.
  • Responsibility is a key lesson from homework. Students learn to manage time and prioritize tasks to meet deadlines.
  • Research skills get honed through homework as students gather information from various sources.
  • Students' creative potential is unleashed in homework, free from classroom constraints.

The person or people who made school and homework understood the plethora of advantages homework had and the positive effect it had on students' cognitive functions over time.

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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

Homework became more common in the U.S. around the early 1900s. As to who made homework mandatory, the question remains open, but its emergence in the mainstream sure proved beneficial. Why is this?

Well, in 1930, child labor laws were created. It aimed to protect children from being exploited for labor and it made sure to enable children to have access to education and schooling. The timing was just right.

Speaking of homework, if you’re reading this article and have homework you need to attend to, send a “ do my homework ” request on Studyfy and instantly get the help of a professional right now.

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

Like it or not, homework has stuck through the times, remaining a central aspect in education since the end of the Cold War in 1991. So, who invented homework 😡 and when was homework invented?

We’ve tried to pinpoint different sources, and we’ve understood that many historical figures have contributed to its conception.

Horace Mann, in particular, was the man who apparently introduced homework in the U.S. But let’s reframe our perspective a bit. Instead of focusing on who invented homework, let’s ask ourselves why homework is beneficial in the first place. Let’s consider the pros and cons:

  • Homework potentially enhances memory.
  • Homework helps cultivate time management, self-learning, discipline, and cognitive skills.
  • An excessive amount of work can cause mental health issues and burnout.
  • Rigid homework tasks can take away time for productive and leisurely activities like arts and sports.

Meaningful homework tasks can challenge us and enrich our knowledge on certain topics, but too much homework can actually be detrimental. This is where Studyfy can be invaluable. Studyfy offers homework help.

All you need to do is click the “ do my assignment ” button and send us a request. Need instant professional help? You know where to go now.

Frequently asked questions

Who made homework.

As stated throughout the article, there was no sole "inventor of homework." We've established that homework has already existed in ancient civilizations, where people were assigned educational tasks to be done at home. 

Let's look at ancient Greece; for example, students at the Academy of Athens were expected to recite and remember epic poems outside of their institutions. Similar practices were going on in ancient Egypt, China and Rome. 

This is why we can't ascertain the sole inventor of homework. While history can give us hints that homework was practiced in different civilizations, it's not far-fetched to believe that there have been many undocumented events all across the globe that happened simultaneously where homework emerged. 

Why was homework invented? 

We've answered the question of "who invented homework 😡" and we've recognized that we cannot pinpoint it to one sole inventor. So, let's get back to the question of why homework was invented. 

Homework arose from educational institutions, remained, and probably was invented because teachers and educators wanted to help students reinforce what they learned during class. They also believed that homework could improve memory and cognitive skills over time, as well as instill a sense of discipline. 

In other words, homework's origins can be linked to academic performance and regular students practice. Academic life has replaced the anti-homework sentiment as homework bans proved to cause partial learning and a struggle to achieve conceptual clarity.

Speaking of, don't forget that Studyfy can help you with your homework, whether it's Python homework help or another topic. Don't wait too long to take advantage of expert help when you can do it now. 

Is homework important for my learning journey?

Now that we've answered questions on who made school and homework and why it was invented, we can ask ourselves if homework is crucial in our learning journey. 

At the end of the day, homework can be a crucial step to becoming more knowledgeable and disciplined over time. 

Exercising our memory skills, learning independently without a teacher obliging us, and processing new information are all beneficial to our growth and evolution. However, whether a homework task is enriching or simply a filler depends on the quality of education you're getting. 

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who created homework and why

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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Origin and Death of Inventor of Homework: Roberto Nevilis

Roberto Nevilis

Roberto Nevilis is known for creating homework to help students learn on their own. He was a teacher who introduced the idea of giving assignments to be done outside of class. Even though there’s some debate about his exact role, Nevilis has left a lasting impact on education, shaping the way students around the world approach their studies.

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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The Surprising History of Homework Reform

Really, kids, there was a time when lots of grownups thought homework was bad for you.

Boy sitting at desk with book

Homework causes a lot of fights. Between parents and kids, sure. But also, as education scholar Brian Gill and historian Steven Schlossman write, among U.S. educators. For more than a century, they’ve been debating how, and whether, kids should do schoolwork at home .

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At the dawn of the twentieth century, homework meant memorizing lists of facts which could then be recited to the teacher the next day. The rising progressive education movement despised that approach. These educators advocated classrooms free from recitation. Instead, they wanted students to learn by doing. To most, homework had no place in this sort of system.

Through the middle of the century, Gill and Schlossman write, this seemed like common sense to most progressives. And they got their way in many schools—at least at the elementary level. Many districts abolished homework for K–6 classes, and almost all of them eliminated it for students below fourth grade.

By the 1950s, many educators roundly condemned drills, like practicing spelling words and arithmetic problems. In 1963, Helen Heffernan, chief of California’s Bureau of Elementary Education, definitively stated that “No teacher aware of recent theories could advocate such meaningless homework assignments as pages of repetitive computation in arithmetic. Such an assignment not only kills time but kills the child’s creative urge to intellectual activity.”

But, the authors note, not all reformers wanted to eliminate homework entirely. Some educators reconfigured the concept, suggesting supplemental reading or having students do projects based in their own interests. One teacher proposed “homework” consisting of after-school “field trips to the woods, factories, museums, libraries, art galleries.” In 1937, Carleton Washburne, an influential educator who was the superintendent of the Winnetka, Illinois, schools, proposed a homework regimen of “cooking and sewing…meal planning…budgeting, home repairs, interior decorating, and family relationships.”

Another reformer explained that “at first homework had as its purpose one thing—to prepare the next day’s lessons. Its purpose now is to prepare the children for fuller living through a new type of creative and recreational homework.”

That idea didn’t necessarily appeal to all educators. But moderation in the use of traditional homework became the norm.

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“Virtually all commentators on homework in the postwar years would have agreed with the sentiment expressed in the NEA Journal in 1952 that ‘it would be absurd to demand homework in the first grade or to denounce it as useless in the eighth grade and in high school,’” Gill and Schlossman write.

That remained more or less true until 1983, when publication of the landmark government report A Nation at Risk helped jump-start a conservative “back to basics” agenda, including an emphasis on drill-style homework. In the decades since, continuing “reforms” like high-stakes testing, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the Common Core standards have kept pressure on schools. Which is why twenty-first-century first graders get spelling words and pages of arithmetic.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 created homework and why

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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who created homework and why

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.

About the Author

Emily summers.

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Who Invented Homework And Why

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Roberto Nevelis of Venice , Italy, is often credited with having invented homework in 1095 or 1905, depending on your sources

Every student in their life has realized that they love going to school and college, but the only thing they hate about education life is homework. You must have giggled with your friends during lectures about who was the person behind the concept of homework, and without knowing the full information, we all, as a student, has hated the person so much. There are so many debates that revolve around assignments. Students and teachers have the opposite thinking about homework. The tug-of-war between the professors and educators will never end.

It's very important to know all the facts about assignments before making any conclusion. That's why in this blog, we are going to discuss all the interesting facts that a student must know about homework. We hope that you will be a little more motivated to do your next assignments by the end of this reading. However, the scenario has changed with the guidance of homework help UK several students are more than happy while doing homework as they get a chance to outshine in their class.

Who Made Homework And Why?

Roberto Nevilis was an Italian pedagog who was behind the concept of homework. The credit for improving the education system is all because of the homework. Although earlier, it was believed that assigning homework or assignments was an alternative to giving physical punishment.

The reason behind the concept was a little bit simple. The inventor invented homework not to forget the learning as soon as they left their classes. The main motive is to enhance the creative skills and make students more familiar with the concepts. Roberto Nevillis was a teacher, and he never wanted students to forget things that he has taught with so much determination and hard work. That's why he decided to invent a different method by assigning homework.

This is the one side of history; when we look at the other side, some people also believe that the homework was invented by Pliny, who gave some home assignments to his students or followers to improve their skills. He asked students to practice some exercises at home for practice. However, Nevills is only responsible for the creation of homework.

Now, many more questions must be popping into your mind, so let's talk about some homework facts one by one.

What's The Purpose Of Assigning Homework? What Does Homework Stand For Teachers?

There is a different perspective of students and teachers while doing homework. Let's see from the viewpoint of teachers what's the definition of homework.

  • Many research has shown that assigning homework to students can enhance their skills as they focus more on learning.
  • A student becomes active at home and remembers well what was taught to them in class.
  • As it is said that practice makes a man perfect, so by assigning assignments to students, the professors aim that students should do regular practice to master the skills.
  • One of the reasons is to check the capabilities of students and what extra they can learn.
  • Students don't get off track if, from time to time, homework is given to them; they will be more informed about their academic syllabus.
  • Last but not least, it keeps the confidence of students high so that they can perform well in the upcoming exams.

The Viewpoint Of Students Are The Opposite

The importance of homework is up to the mark; it's necessary for students' growth and learning. However, students have some valid points which can't be neglected. We all know how tough it is to be the number one student; you must perform well in all activities. In this scenario, it's quite challenging to cope with piles of homework. Thanks to the assignment helper , they are there with students in every thick and thin situation.

Some more reasons from student's viewpoint are:

  • Takes a lot of time and effort - The students have a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders, and achieving higher grades in assignments is one of them. It takes a lot of time to write professional answers, and that's why they hate doing homework as they are left with zero hours for other activities.
  • Does not get enough appraisal - After putting so much effort, parents and professors do not give them the credits they have tried best. All their efforts went in vain when they didn't get enough marks.
  • Feeling of stress and anxiety - completing the assignments till the cutoff dates is a lengthy procedure. To be the best, you have to research a lot and gather a lot of information which sometimes gives so much stress to students.

What Went Wrong With Homework?

From the student's point of view, we can notice that homework background is causing more trouble. Instead of improving their skills and knowledge, it is becoming a headache for many people. The result is that students can't add a little more fun to their college life due to assignments.

There are a lot of new concepts in every subject, and sometimes teachers may assign some topics for a home to reduce the syllabus. This becomes too hectic for students, and they end up having poor grades in academics. Not only did their academics get hampered, but they also didn't get enough time for following their passion and hobbies.

Let's introduce you with a secret, your assignments will not leave your side, but you can do so! You can make a smarter move by outsourcing your assignments with The Student Helpline by just clicking on the proceed button! Instead of having grudges with the person who invented school, you will love to hear a lot of appraisal from your loved ones.

Sounds amazing? Now, no more debuts, get your work done with the best subject matter experts, and live your life to the fullest!

Happy learning!

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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 .

Pragya Sagar

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. 

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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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

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Who Invented Homework And Why? The Facts Everyone Should Know

Who invented homework

  • Post author By admin
  • September 17, 2022

Homework is now an essential part of the educational process; it facilitates and improves learning.

We’ve been completing tasks since we were in elementary school. And few of us were considering who invented homework. Why was homework invented?

Who was Robert Novelis? Who was Horace Mann? Was homework invented as a punishment?  

In this blog, we’ll learn who invented homework and why, and the brief history of homework.

Table of Contents

Who invented homework?

We have no clear idea who invented homework although many people do homework most days of the week.

Many names are included with the invention of homework. 

In reality, anyone who has attempted to learn something has most probably practiced it in their own place and time, so homework is simply a part of the learning process.  

Homework was first mentioned in ancient Rome, in the writings of Piny the Younger, in 1AD.

Pliny, an oratory teacher, is said to have asked his students to practice public speaking at home to boost their confidence.

At the end of the 19th century, homework became universal as school/colleges became compulsory worldwide.

Why Was Homework Invented?

Over the years, supporters of homework have given a variety of reasons for its creation.

These are some of them:

  • Students can consolidate their learning by practising what they’ve learned in school;
  • Teachers and students can uncover learning gaps when students hand in assignments that they’ve completed independently;
  • It provides students extra time to study something; 
  • It helps students manage their time.

On the other hand, homework has not always been popular, and in the early 1900s, it was even banned in the state of California for 15 years.

Who Was Roberto Novelis?

Who Was Roberto Novelis?

Roberto Novelis might well not be anyone.

It is frequently said that this name is responsible for the invention of homework.

But he might not even be real, because no one appears to know whether he developed homework in 1095 or 1905.

He is supposed to have devised the concept of homework to punish what he saw to be lazy students.

However, there is no formal confirmation of this story or even his existence.

Who Was Horace Mann?

Who Was Horace Mann?

Horace Mann was a nineteenth-century politician and educational reformer.

He believed strongly in compulsory education and was essential in the establishment of state-funded education in the United States.

After seeing it in the German Volksschulen, or “People’s Schools,” when he visited in 1843, he brought the idea of mandatory assignments to be done at home – homework – to the United States.

Brief History of Homework

Brief History of Homework

  • 1901-1917 : All students under the age of 15 in the state of California were prohibited from doing homework. A number of letters and statements opposing homework were published in the Ladies Home Journal and the New York Times.
  • 1930: The American Child Health Association proclaimed homework to be a kind of child labour, which was a novel legal idea in the United States at the time.
  • 1950: During the Cold War, the United States went on a large homework push in order for American children to thrive, particularly in math and science.
  • 2000 onwards: The idea that homework was harmful to a child’s or family’s health resurfaced with the publication of homework books.

Meanwhile, students in the United Kingdom often have more homework than kids in many other European countries. I hope you have known about who invented homework.

  • 16 Powerful Tips on How to Finish your Homework Faster

Was Homework Invented As a Punishment?

Yes, at first, Roberto used homework as a form of punishment. however, He also used it to guarantee that students fully absorbed and comprehended what they had studied. But because homework was created at a time when the globe was creating a formal education system, it became a vital part of that system.

People in countries like the United States, on the other hand, did not take education seriously until the twentieth century. Parents considered schooling as a hindrance in such places because they wanted their children to help them with household tasks. However, During World War II things changed when such countries realized they required educated personnel, such as scientists.

Homework in the public school system in the United States

Homework is given in schools for several different reasons. One reason is to give students a chance to put what they’ve learned in class into practice. Homework can also help kids learn how to study and handle their time. Students can also learn how to work independently by doing their schoolwork.

But there are different opinions on how much study is too much. Some experts say that giving kids too much schoolwork can harm them. They say it can cause stress, worry, and burnout. They also say that it can cut into students’ free time, which is important for their social and mental growth.

The amount of homework given changes from school to school and teacher to teacher. But some broad rules can be used as a guide. The National Education Association (NEA) says that elementary school students shouldn’t have more than an hour of schoolwork per night, middle school students shouldn’t have more than two hours of homework per night, and high school students shouldn’t have more than three hours of homework per night.

These are, of course, just suggestions. The right amount of homework for each student will depend on their needs and how well they can do it. Parents and teachers must work together to find the right balance for each kid.

Here are some ways to get your homework done:

  • Set aside a certain amount of time every day to do homework.
  • Find a place to work where it’s quiet and no one will bother you.
  • Break up big chores into smaller ones that are easier to handle.
  • When you need a break, take one.
  • Ask for help if you are suffering.

Benefits Of Homework

benefits of homework

Is homework actually beneficial? Of course, there are numerous advantages for students. Let’s take a look at all of the advantages that homework can give to students in various ways.

Encourages Students To Be Disciplined In Their Practice.

Homework assists in the installation of discipline in students. Frequently, you will receive the same type of work for homework as you did in class. Practicing the same task over and over will improve your abilities in that area. You will gain a clearer and more informed understanding of the subject. If you are studying mathematics and solving a hundred numerical problems, you will gain knowledge in that subject. Reading the same material twice or three times at home will also help you gain a good grasp of the subject. Discipline like this will benefit you in other aspects of your life as well.

Involvement of Parents In Children’s Life

Parents are perplexed when they see their children’s homework. That’s quite normal. However, homework has helped in the development of a close bond between parents and children. Parents that assist their children with schoolwork learn about their child’s weak areas. Furthermore, parents want to see the homework since it will help them understand what their children are learning in school. This particular benefit is primarily for school students.

Students Learn Time Management And Research Skills

Students frequently struggle with time management. Homework helps with time management. Students will recognise the importance of time and abandon their procrastinating habits. Make a schedule and stick to it when you get your homework. A well-planned timetable will keep you motivated and on track. While doing your assignment, you will also gain research skills. You must conduct extensive research on a certain work in order to prepare for research papers and dissertations.

Homework Creates a Safe Environment For Learning.

Despite the fact that school and college are places where students should be studying, they are frequently distracted. Distractions from friends and other activities cause them to lose attention. A home is a place where one can be completely comfortable while also being able to concentrate. It is possible to learn effectively at home as well. Home is the ideal place to study because it is free of interruptions and has a quiet environment.

Demerits of homework

demerits of homework

Due To Homework, There Is a Lack Of Physical Activity.

Being studious is a great thing, but physical activity is also required for a healthy lifestyle. You may have noticed that universities and institutions have begun to overburden students with homework. They don’t have any spare time at home to do other things. Due to a lack of time for outdoor activities, homework has become a barrier to students’ growth and physical development. Furthermore, a lack of physical activities causes tension among students. This has a direct impact on academic performance. As a result, many students have begun to seek online homework assistance. They prefer to hire professional writers to help them manage their academic and personal lives.

Stuck At Various Points

Students get stuck at various stages when working on their assignments. They don’t understand the concept of clarity, and they never get the right solution to a math issue. They may require assistance from some teachers or professors in such situations. Most of the time, it is not available at home. 

No Time For Vacations

Students who study abroad spend little time with their families. They have so much homework and assignments that they don’t have time to spend with family or friends even on vacation. That is why most students perceive homework to be a difficult academic activity to complete and want to know “who invented homework.”

Part-Time Job Students Find It Tough

Many students work part-time jobs while pursuing their studies at the university level. Homework is difficult for such students. They have to sit with schoolwork after working for nearly half a day for their bellies. In a nutshell, homework is destroying their physical and social life. Thanks to online assignment help services, students may get support when they need it.

Increasing Stress In a Student’s Life

As you can see, there are a variety of factors that make homework a nightmare for students. As a result, students frequently ask, “Who invented homework?” They are so frustrated that they want to track down the culprit and punish him for his crime. In fact, however, this is not achievable. However, it is true that homework has contributed to a variety of mental health issues among kids. They are constantly under pressure to perform effectively and complete the assignment on schedule. Their health is unquestionably deteriorating, and homework is the primary cause.

  • 10 Best Homework Help Websites- Here Are the Ones You Should Go For!

How Homework Improves the Quality of Education 

You must realize that the main goal of homework is not to manage people or to punish children! This is just a fantastic approach to organizing and memorizing all of the material that has been studied. Many critical talents cannot be developed without homework. Of course, professors provide them with a wealth of material during class, but the purpose of homework is to integrate that knowledge with practical assignments in order to demonstrate how effectively the student has studied and comprehended the subject.

Many experienced psychologists believe that assimilation of both knowledge and activity approaches is critical. It encourages students to think outside the box, discover the information they need to complete a task, learn new abilities, manage their time, and apply their new skills and knowledge in the future. Every student receives their homework grades, which motivates students to spend more time studying at home, absorb the content thoroughly in class, achieve good grades, and be noticed and encouraged by their teachers.

Why Should Homework Be Banned?

Even with all the potential benefits of homework, some people say it should be prohibited because spending more time on it costs children too much time, produces a stressful environment at home and at school, and fosters unequal access to resources between rich and poor families.

In addition to these concerns, some opponents of homework argue that helping their children with homework is unfair to parents who work long hours or have numerous jobs outside the home.

The other side of the argument for making homework illegal is that if it were made illegal, students would spend more time doing other constructive things like sports or spending time with their families. The concept is based on the premise that children will be better prepared to engage in these activities if they had a day off from school.

The final point is that homework does not always boost learning or grades; in fact, some research suggest that the amount of time spent on homework and standardised test scores may be negatively correlated.

Students’ work quality deteriorates when they become tired or bored while completing it, and they don’t learn from homework if all they care about is finishing it.

Those who oppose banning it propose giving children smaller amounts of work to do each night instead of an entire night’s worth of homework.

Quick Facts About Homework

  • Roberto Nevilis isn’t the person who invented homework.
  • Johann Gottlieb Fichte invented homework.
  • Horace Mann, who is wrongly credited with inventing homework, brought it to the United States in the nineteenth century.

Conclusion (Who Invented Homework)

In this blog, we have discussed who invented homework in detail. Regardless of who invented homework, it is here to stay.

While homework has many advantages, educators must know when and how to use it as a tool to classroom learning rather than as a replacement.

anxiety, depression and anger are common symptoms of overworked children.

Homework is not always useful for students because it might take time away from studying or playing outside, both of which are essential for a child’s holistic development.

If you have other ideas and questions about who invented homework and why feel free to share your comments in the below section.

FAQs Related To Who Invented Homework

Is it normal to cry over homework.

Sometimes, homework upsets our children. Executive function deficits, learning disabilities, or difficult subjects can make children cry or lash out during homework time.

How is homework harmful?

“The findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high-stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story.

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Who Invented Homework?

Answer: the idea of homework was popularized by italian educator roberto nevilis, who is often credited as the “inventor of 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.

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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July 1, 2019

Who Invented Homework and Why They Did It? – Facts You Should Know

Navigation of contents

Homework makes up a big part of the educational process and helps in learning new skills. Since school years, we have been completing tasks of all kinds, but not many of us know who invented them and why.

What is the name of homework inventor? When was it invented and why? If you are also willing to learn the answer, go on reading!

The History & Origin of Homework. Why Was Homework Invented?

Nowadays, many students can get online accounting help with homework or many other subjects. They simply need to make a few clicks, and someone else will do the work for them. However, it wasn’t like that even fifteen years ago.

First mentions of the term ‘homework’ refer back to Ancient Rome. In the first century AD, an oratory teacher Pliny the Younger asked his students to take part in home activities. Such practice aimed to improve speaking skills in a casual atmosphere. Results of such exercises were outstanding, and others implemented the approach.

However, the official creator of homework is Roberto Nevilis. So if you pay to do your homework and don’t need to worry about results, it is Roberto whom you should thank!

He invented at-home assignments as a form of punishment in 1905 and since then was applied as one of the most popular educational practices.

Creation of homework had a huge impact on the quality of gained knowledge, so more and more teachers made it compulsory for students of all academic levels. Homework teaches students to work independently and became a must in all institutions. However, home tasks must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be feasible;
  • The must be simple and not too large;
  • They should be given when students are ready to work on their own.

Luckily, if you are not able to work independently, there is always online exam help USA ready to cover your back!

Who Invented Homework?

Starting with ancient times and ending with the modern world, most of the students don’t like homework. However, they shouldn’t blame a certain person. Yes, Pliny the Younger encouraged students to improve their speaking skills at home, but other teachers also advised such exercises and popularized homework with time.

So the question who invented homework and why is still disturbing minds of people across the world. Some sorts of home tasks are linked to first schools. Unfortunately, there were no online exams or multiple choice quizzes back then, and all students could do is to memorize texts by heart.

Who Created Homework? All The Theories

If you ask Google, you will get familiar with multiple theories, and the name of Roberto Nevilis will surely pop up. So why did Roberto Nevilis create homework?

History says that he did it in order to punish lazy students. His main motivation was to spoil the evenings of the class by giving tasks to complete, so in 1905, homework appeared in Italy.

However, there isn’t much information about Nevilis, and there is a chance that such a person has never existed. Moreover, it is quite difficult to imagine that no one has created an effective system of homework before 1905.

Actually, it is thought that homework is an integral part of education and has existed since the creation of learning. This means that not only students of the 19th century but also Romans, Middle Age monks, and Enlightenment philosophers read, sang and memorized pieces well before the process was given a definition ‘homework’.

There are multiple facts about homework, but we may never find out which of them are true and which are made up.

Get your homework essay starting at just $10.00 a page.

Roberto Nevilis: The Man Who Invented Homework

Most of the scientists and researchers believe that Nevilis was the one to introduce us to homework and it happened back in 1905 in Venice. He remains the most popular practitioner of home assignments, and homework creation matched the appearance of formal schooling.

In 1905 homework was invented for what reason? Quite simple: Nevilis wanted to punish students. Whether it is a good or a bad motive, thanks to Roberto, we have plenty of headaches in the evenings!

When Was Homework Invented? Was Homework a Punishment?

We all love history. We love reading about ancient times, the appearance of new trends or biographies of our favorite figures. That is why it is not surprising that students wonder when homework appeared. Thanks to Roberto Nevilis and his theories, education has greatly improved since the implementation of homework.

Traditional educators believe that homework is an essential component of effective education, and it is a great way to improve independence, initiative, creativity, and individuality of a student.

However, apart from learning how invented homework, it is important to understand factors, which made it so important:

  • Because of so many subjects, students simply forget the material. It assimilates in their minds, but homework helps to remember forgotten data;
  • Mastery of complex topics requires their assimilation and comprehension;
  • It is impossible to boost all students’ abilities and talents in the class.

That is why the success of teaching greatly depends on the success of preparation at home. At the same time, an organization of tasks at home is the most challenging part of an educational process because students don’t have access to the tutor’s advice and support.

The Purposes of Homework

Importance of homework was always a debatable issue not only among students but also among teachers and researches. Many people think that homework is not necessary. However, the latest research shows that it is an integral part of the learning process and helps to improve knowledge.

So why was homework created?

  • to work without a hurry;
  • to work without being estimated;
  • to choose your own rhythm;
  • to plan work independently.

With the help of homework, students fix classroom material in their memory and repeat previously gained knowledge as many times as possible. In addition, they consolidate multiple skills in order to achieve the necessary results.

What Are The Main Goals Of Homework?

Now, when you know when was education invented and whom we should praise, it is the right time to enumerate the main benefits of homework:

  • You can learn at your own speed and rhythm without any hurry;
  • You can make as many mistakes and drafts as needed, and no one will grade you for failed attempts;
  • You get a chance to plan breaks;
  • You can always find the necessary material online.

Homework helps you to consolidate what you already know and greatly contributes to revisions. In addition, it gives you a chance to practice and to use all the possible tools and instruments, which are not available in class. Moreover, you develop your creativity, will, and discipline.

Types of Homework

Even if you doubt whether homework is necessary, you should still get familiar with its types:

  • Case studies;
  • Reviews of books and articles;
  • Term papers;
  • Research papers;
  • Dissertations, and much more.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to keep up with all of them even if you devote all of your time to homework. That is why many students try to find a way how to simplify years at school or college. Some of them download ready samples; others pay teachers or classmates for help. However, the majority of students prefers getting professional help.

You may not know where did homework come from or who was its original creator, but you surely know that Doahomework is the best provider of academic assignments!

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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.

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