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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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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.

How to Cite this Article

There are three different ways you can cite this article.

1. To cite this article in an academic-style article or paper , use:

<a href=" https://historycooperative.org/who-invented-homework/ ">The Homework Dilemma: Who Invented Homework?</a>

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The Big Question: Who Invented Homework?

who invented homework in hindi

Crystal Bourque

who invented homework in hindi

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/Shutterstock.com

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

Credit: laphamsquarterly.org

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

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

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

who invented homework in hindi

Credit: inlibris.com

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

Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

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

So who created homework in the United States?

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

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

who invented homework in hindi

Credit: medium.com

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/Shutterstock.com

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/Shutterstock.com

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/Shutterstock.com

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/Shutterstock.com

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/Shutterstock.com

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The History of Homework: Why Was it Invented and Who Was Behind It?

  • By Emily Summers
  • February 14, 2020

Homework is long-standing education staple, one that many students hate with a fiery passion. We can’t really blame them, especially if it’s a primary source of stress that can result in headaches, exhaustion, and lack of sleep.

It’s not uncommon for students, parents, and even some teachers to complain about bringing assignments home. Yet, for millions of children around the world, homework is still a huge part of their daily lives as students — even if it continues to be one of their biggest causes of stress and unrest.

It makes one wonder, who in their right mind would invent such a thing as homework?

Who Invented Homework?

Pliny the younger: when in ancient rome, horace mann: the father of modern homework, the history of homework in america, 1900s: anti-homework sentiment & homework bans, 1930: homework as child labor, early-to-mid 20th century: homework and the progressive era, the cold war: homework starts heating up, 1980s: homework in a nation at risk, early 21 st century, state of homework today: why is it being questioned, should students get homework pros of cons of bringing school work home.

Guy stressed with homework

Online, there are many articles that point to Roberto Nevilis as the first educator to give his students homework. He created it as a way to punish his lazy students and ensure that they fully learned their lessons. However, these pieces of information mostly come from obscure educational blogs or forum websites with questionable claims. No credible news source or website has ever mentioned the name Roberto Nevilis as the person who invented homework . In fact, it’s possible that Nevilis never even existed.

As we’re not entirely sure who to credit for creating the bane of students’ existence and the reasons why homework was invented, we can use a few historical trivia to help narrow down our search.

Mentions of the term “homework” date back to as early as ancient Rome. In I century AD, Pliny the Younger , an oratory teacher, supposedly invented homework by asking his followers to practice public speaking at home. It was to help them become more confident and fluent in their speeches. But some would argue that the assignment wasn’t exactly the type of written work that students have to do at home nowadays. Only introverted individuals with a fear of public speaking would find it difficult and stressful.

It’s also safe to argue that since homework is an integral part of education, it’s probable that it has existed since the dawn of learning, like a beacon of light to all those helpless and lost (or to cast darkness on those who despise it). This means that Romans, Enlightenment philosophers, and Middle Age monks all read, memorized, and sang pieces well before homework was given any definition. It’s harder to play the blame game this way unless you want to point your finger at Horace Mann.

In the 19 th century, Horace Mann , a politician and educational reformer had a strong interest in the compulsory public education system of Germany as a newly unified nation-state. Pupils attending the Volksschulen or “People’s Schools” were given mandatory assignments that they needed to complete at home during their own time. This requirement emphasized the state’s power over individuals at a time when nationalists such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte were rallying support for a unified German state. Basically, the state used homework as an element of power play.

Despite its political origins, the system of bringing school assignments home spread across Europe and eventually found their way to Horace Mann, who was in Prussia at that time. He brought the system home with him to America where homework became a daily activity in the lives of students.

Despite homework being a near-universal part of the American educational experience today, it hasn’t always been universally accepted. Take a look at its turbulent history in America.

In 1901, just a few decades after Horace Mann introduced the concept to Americans, homework was banned in the Pacific state of California . The ban affected students younger than 15 years old and stayed in effect until 1917.

Around the same time, prominent publications such as The New York Times and Ladies’ Home Journal published statements from medical professionals and parents who stated that homework was detrimental to children’s health.

In 1930, the American Child Health Association declared homework as a type of child labor . Since laws against child labor had been passed recently during that time, the proclamation painted homework as unacceptable educational practice, making everyone wonder why homework was invented in the first place.

However, it’s keen to note that one of the reasons why homework was so frowned upon was because children were needed to help out with household chores (a.k.a. a less intensive and more socially acceptable form of child labor).

During the progressive education reforms of the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries, educators started looking for ways to make homework assignments more personal and relevant to the interests of individual students. Maybe this was how immortal essay topics such as “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” and “What I Did During My Summer Vacation” were born.

After World War II, the Cold War heated up rivalries between the U.S. and Russia. Sputnik 1’s launch in 1957 intensified the competition between Americans and Russians – including their youth.

Education authorities in the U.S. decided that implementing rigorous homework to American students of all ages was the best way to ensure that they were always one step ahead of their Russian counterparts, especially in the competitive fields of Math and Science.

In 1986, the U.S. Department of Education’s pamphlet, “What Works,” included homework as one of the effective strategies to boost the quality of education. This came three years after the National Commission on Excellence in Education published “ Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform .” The landmark report lambasted the state of America’s schools, calling for reforms to right the alarming direction that public education was headed.

Today, many educators, students, parents, and other concerned citizens have once again started questioning why homework was invented and if it’s still valuable.

Homework now is facing major backlash around the world. With more than 60% of high school and college students seeking counselling for conditions such as clinical depression and anxiety, all of which are brought about by school, it’s safe to say that American students are more stressed out than they should be.

After sitting through hours at school, they leave only to start on a mountain pile of homework. Not only does it take up a large chunk of time that they can otherwise spend on their hobbies and interests, it also stops them from getting enough sleep. This can lead to students experiencing physical health problems, a lack of balance in their lives, and alienation from their peers and society in general.

Is homework important and necessary ? Or is it doing more harm than good? Here some key advantages and disadvantages to consider.

  • It encourages the discipline of practice

Using the same formula or memorizing the same information over and over can be difficult and boring, but it reinforces the practice of discipline. To master a skill, repetition is often needed. By completing homework every night, specifically with difficult subjects, the concepts become easier to understand, helping students polish their skills and achieve their life goals.

  • It teaches students to manage their time

Homework goes beyond just completing tasks. It encourages children to develop their skills in time management as schedules need to be organized to ensure that all tasks can be completed within the day.

  • It provides more time for students to complete their learning process

The time allotted for each subject in school is often limited to 1 hour or less per day. That’s not enough time for students to grasp the material and core concepts of each subject. By creating specific homework assignments, it becomes possible for students to make up for the deficiencies in time.

  • It discourages creative endeavors

If a student spends 3-5 hours a day on homework, those are 3-5 hours that they can’t use to pursue creative passions. Students might like to read leisurely or take up new hobbies but homework takes away their time from painting, learning an instrument, or developing new skills.

  • Homework is typically geared toward benchmarks

Teachers often assign homework to improve students’ test scores. Although this can result in positive outcomes such as better study habits, the fact is that when students feel tired, they won’t likely absorb as much information. Their stress levels will go up and they’ll feel the curriculum burnout.

  • No evidence that homework creates improvements

Research shows that homework doesn’t improve academic performance ; it can even make it worse. Homework creates a negative attitude towards schooling and education, making students dread going to their classes. If they don’t like attending their lessons, they will be unmotivated to listen to the discussions.

With all of the struggles that students face each day due to homework, it’s puzzling to understand why it was even invented. However, whether you think it’s helpful or not, just because the concept has survived for centuries doesn’t mean that it has to stay within the educational system.

Not all students care about the history of homework, but they all do care about the future of their educational pursuits. Maybe one day, homework will be fully removed from the curriculum of schools all over the world but until that day comes, students will have to burn the midnight oil to pass their requirements on time and hopefully achieve their own versions of success.

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Emily summers.

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Who Invented Homework and Why

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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.

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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. 

The Story Behind The Myth That An Italian Teacher Roberto Nevilis Invented Homework

child doing homework

It's a necessary evil (or perhaps it's completely unnecessary — more on that in a moment) that has been bedeviling children and parents for generations: homework. Just check out any random parenting advice column and you'll see how much of a chore homework is for the parents and for the children. And even so, at least one parenting advice columnist is advising parents of younger children to not even volunteer to help unless specifically asked to do so.

But is homework one of those aspects of education, like sitting at a desk, that just developed organically over centuries of education? Or did one teacher or administrator come up with the idea? For about a century, a legend has stated that an Italian man named Roberto Nevilis came up with homework, and those in the know have been cursing his name for just as long. He even gets his own entry in Urban Dictionary . However, Nevilis is almost certainly a myth (or at the very least, the idea that he invented homework is a myth), and it looks like there's no one person to blame for the phenomenon.

Blame Horace Mann, Not Roberto Nevilis

As both Through Education and The Ed Advocate report, somehow a myth entered the world's collective consciousness that an Italian man named Roberto Nevilis invented homework. Some versions of the myth even add some context: It was intended to punish underperforming students and to reward those who excelled at their lessons. Some versions of the myth say that his invention dates to 1905, others that it dates to 1095 – an 800 year difference! There's supposedly a photograph of him on Twitter , with a caption claiming the year was 1095, which is a solid eight centuries before the invention of photography .

Needless to say, the Nevilis origin story is probably bunk. Putting aside the fact that he could have lived in either of two periods in history 800 years apart (and the 1095 origin story ignores some important facts about public education, including that it didn't exist at the time), the real indicator that his story is fictitious is that it exists only in question-and-answer forums and parenting blogs. On the rare occasions that someone attempts to cite it, it's always with vague words like "various sources" or "some say" or the like.

The real culprit is probably Horace Mann (his statue is above), and even he didn't come up with it. The American education advocate was inspired by a European system, according to Through Education, and it became more or less ubiquitous worldwide in the decades after he introduced it to the U.S.

Is Homework Necessary?

As mentioned previously, homework can be as bothersome for parents and families as it is for the children tasked with doing it, and for evidence, look no further than this 1999 Time article, " The Homework Ate My Family ." But is homework, like doing taxes, just one of those necessary evils that we all have to live with?

As it turns out, the jury is still out on the benefits of homework. For example, in 2019, Forbes highlighted several school districts across the country that have ditched homework, "citing research showing it doesn't do much to boost achievement," as the website notes. However, for a more thorough explanation of both sides of the issue we need look no further than ProCon which, as the website's name makes manifest, lays out the pros and cons of the matter. And in this case, there are points to be made on both sides. Some pros listed are that studies have shown homework increases student achievement and involves parents in the educational process, while studies have also shown that homework doesn't help younger students (while it may help older ones) and that it exacerbates the achievement gap.

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

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

Who invented homework

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

Who invented homework and why?

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

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

who invented homework in hindi

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

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

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

Who created homework? History vs myth

Who invented homework

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

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

who invented homework in hindi

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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 invented homework in hindi

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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.

Yen.com.gh 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?

Source: YEN.com.gh

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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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Was Hindi Really Created by India's British Colonial Rulers?

The idea behind the British linguistic claims, namely that Hindus used a Sanskritised language, was incorrect.

Was Hindi Really Created by India's British Colonial Rulers?

Hindustani characters of the Grammatica Linguæ Indianæ Vulgaris (1703) of Francois-Marie de Tours.

Imre Bangha

As a person who studies early modern vernaculars, I often hear the opinion that Hindi was created a little more than 200 years ago by the British. This view is nowadays shared by both Hindi and non-Hindi speakers. Those who resent the political role of Hindi in 20th century nationalism claim, as the title of an article by a Bengali author does, that “ Hindi was devised by a Scottish linguist of the East India Company – it can never be India’s National Language ”.

Similarly, one of the leading Hindi publishing houses, Vani Prakashan , states in its home page that Hindi, in its present form, is the language that is born in modern times”. In contrast, most 20th century scholars working under the ideas of the Indian freedom struggle underlined the continuity of modern Hindi with earlier literary idioms, such as Avadhi and Brajbhasha (though rarely with Hindustani).

who invented homework in hindi

A young Grierson. Photo: Goodreads

However, the clearest formulation of the idea of the birth of a new language is the one found in Sir George A. Grierson’s The Modern Vernacular Literature of Hindustan (1889, page 108, emphasis mine):

[The early nineteenth century witnessed] the birth of that wonderful hybrid language known to Europeans as Hindi and invented by them. In 1803, under Gilchrist’s tuition, Lallū Jī Lāl wrote the Prem Sāgar … with this peculiarity, that he used only nouns and particles of Indian, instead of those of Arabic or Persian origin. The result was practically a newly invented speech.

[I]ts prose in one uniform artificial dialect , the mother tongue of no native born Indian, [was] forced into acceptance by the prestige of its inventors, by the fact that the first books written in it were of a highly popular character, and because it found a sphere in which it was eminently useful.

We can see that both the idea of colonial agency as well as the imagery of birth goes back at least to this early statement.

Interestingly, the linguist Grierson’s ideas about what Hindi is are unclear. In these two paragraphs, he calls it a language , a speech and then a dialect . Furthermore, the contents of his study contradicts his statement since  The Modern Vernacular Literature of Hindustan , just as its chief source, the Hindi  Śhivsingh saroj (1877), presents a history in which modern Hindi is the culmination of a tradition that includes Avadhi, Brajbhasha and other literary idioms. Yet, it is clear that he does not want to leave any doubt  that Hindi is the gift of colonial administration to India and qualifies the three words used synonymously for language as hybrid , newly invented and artificial . One can hear these qualifications for Hindi even today.

Although Grierson was a great early linguist and one of the best connoisseurs of Indian vernaculars, his concept of this new idiom lacks clarity. Is his Hindi language , a speech and then a dialect ? In general usage, dialect normally means a local, lower form of language dependent on a higher, standard version. In Grierson’s use above, the word dialect would seem unclear as there is no standard above it.

Colonial thinkers for long did not acknowledge the existence of various vernacular languages in India and simply claimed that the language of India is Sanskrit or Persian and that there are numberless dialects. Grierson tries to cut out a middle way by attributing both language and dialect status to Hindi. Most people without a background in linguistics and especially sociolinguistics would be lost in how to distinguish language from dialect. One convenient way that the colonial officers used was that languages have literatures while dialects do not. Since the British discovered Vidyāpati only later, the young Grierson’s earnest efforts to grant an independent language status to Bihari (Maithili) in the 1870s were thwarted by the colonial administration arguing that dialects in Bihar lacked literature.

Today, those who advocate that Hindi was created by colonial officers are deeply indebted to colonial thinking in this perception. Furthermore, there is also a perceptible reluctance to look back to times before the British influence on Indian culture. The fact is that there was indeed a widely used contact language in India that the British subsequently adopted for the purpose of printing and the teaching of their own officials. They referred to this language by various names. In the 18th century, they most frequently called it “Moors” while in the 17th, “Indostan”. They described it as the most important contact language within the Mughal Empire, particularly useful to deal with women.

The “ Hindustani ” entry of Hobson-Jobson informs us that the first Englishman known to speak “Indostan” was Thomas Coryat (c1577–1617), nowadays celebrated as the first tourist, about whom it was noted in that he spoke the language so well that he was able to quarrel in it with women. A later visitor, John Fryer (c1650-1733), a doctor of the East India Company wrote in 1673 ,

“The Language at Court is  Persian , that commonly spoke is Indostan (for which they have no proper Character, the written Language being called  Banyan ), which is a mixture of  Persian and Sclavonian [i.e. Indian vernacular], as are all the dialects of India.”

So much for Grierson’s newly-found hybridity.

who invented homework in hindi

Coryat’s Crudities and John Fryer on the frontispiece of his New Account of East India and Persia . Photos: Wikipedia

It is important to note that Fryer was not aware of “Indostan” being a written language. My study in Francesca Orsini’s Before the Divide , showed that the literary version of this language came to be called Rekhta by the 17th century. My current research examines, how, along with the literary production in Rekhta, Hindustani was present in 17-18th century India in grammar books and legal documents.

who invented homework in hindi

Babur. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The oldest and most numerous extant Hindustani documents are literary, that is Rekhta, works. The first authentic written specimen from north India is a couplet ( muj-kā na huā kuj havas-i mānak-o motī …) in the Persian-script present in the 1529 Diwan of Mughal emperor Babur. This was followed by various experiments in composing Rekhta or including Hindustani passages into works at the Mughal court. An interesting example of the use of the vernacular for female voice can be observed in Sard-o-garm-i zamāna , a Persian narrative poem attributed to a certain ‘Ishqi Khan (d. 1582). At some point, it presents how a wealthy landowner is greeted on his arrival home by his Hindustani wife,

… haũ tirī lauṇḍī tū mirā ḵẖvandgār; tum jo mujh kõ piyār karte ho; haũ bhī kartī hū̃ tihārā pyār. apne koṭhe pai maĩ bichāūṁ palang; ūs ūpar leṭ jīo pāõ pasār;

I am your woman and you are my kind lord; The way you love me, I love you in the same way. Let me make up a bed in my room, come and lie down on it stretching your legs.

The same work also describes how a poor husband is received:

terī mā̃ golī terā bāp camār; jhūṭh tujh thẽ bahut sunā mat bol; sac tirā haũ kahaũ mirā mat mār. tujh thẽ mujh ko na rotī o pānī; tujh thẽ mujh kõ nahīṁ savād o siṅgār; ab na rāhūṁ tire ḵẖudā kī saũ; nikalūngī tihāre ghar thẽ bahār.

Your mother was a cowherd, your father a leather-worker; Don’t say a word, I have heard enough lies from you, if I tell you the truth, don’t beat me. I don’t get bread or water from you, neither delicious food nor ornament. I won’t stay with you, I swear, I will leave your house.

Surprisingly, starting from the early 17th century, or maybe before, we have an ever-increasing number of Rekhta poems in the Nagari script. The earliest Rekhta poems written down at some point of time in the Nagari script probably go back  to the religious reformer, Dādū Dayāl (1544-1603, alā, terā jikar phikar karte haiṁ … etc.), and maybe to the Vrindaban devotee of Radha and Krishna, Svāmī Haridās (1512-1607, bande akhtiyār bhalā … ).

who invented homework in hindi

Akbar and Tansen meeting Svami Haridas. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Bhakti poets went on producing Rekhta well until the 19th century. However, the enthusiasm for this idiom went beyond devotional circles. The poet Ālam is credited with Rekhta kavittas and we have Rekhta poems by Prānnāth Śhrotriy from Mirza Raja Ram Singh’s court (1667-1688) and later the Kishangarh crown prince Sāvant Singh ‘Nāgrīdās’ (1694-1764) composed an Iśhk-chaman – just to mention a few authors. Indian archives, however, are full of handwritten books containing unpublished Nagari Rekhta compositions. Their Rekhta is based on what is now called Khaṛī Bolī grammar and uses a large amount of Perso-Arabic words.

Apart from the Persianised “high” Rekhta, we also have compositions in a more demotic register. Such works do not call their literary idiom Rekhta but “Hindustān”. The religious reformer Prānnāth (1618-94), who proclaimed himself to be the Mahdi of the Muslims and Kalki of the Hindus talks about the dilemma of language choice in his book called Sanandh ,

सब को प्यारी अपनी जो है कुल की भाष। अब कहूँ भाषा में किनकी, यामें तो भाषा है लाख।। 13।। बिना हिसाबे बोलियाँ मिने सकल जहान।  सबको सुगम जानके कहूँगो हिन्दुस्तान।। 15।।

Everyone prefers the language of his own family. Now in whose language shall I speak? — There are millions of languages here. Idioms in the world are countless, but I will speak Hindustān since I consider it accessible to everyone ( sabko sugam jānke kahūgo hindustān ).

The argument of accessibility is shared among both Indians and foreigners. The Capuchin missionary François-Marie de Tours in his 1704 grammar (using the Nagari script) described Hindustani as follows,

The use of this Indian, or Moghulian, language, in all its details, may be a most easy and indispensable practicability, supplying a method that may lead the missionaries in their undertakings of missions, help the merchants in their practising of business and always accompany wayfarers when following the roads, traversing and wandering through [different] regions. It seems suitable to leave aside the Brahmanic [i.e. Sanskrit] and the vernacular [languages] and to keep to the Indian or the Moghulian and study and engage in discourse according to its rules and laws.

The word translated as Indian probably refer to the contemporary designation “Hindustān”, or even “Hindi”. Additionally, it is interesting to note that the form “Indostan”, without a final “-i” was also used in the accounts of 17th century British travellers. Moreover, the word “ hindusthāna-vāća ” already appeared in the 15th century, where Śrīvara’s Jaina Rājataranginī (2.214) describing the Kashmiri King, Sultan Haider Shah (1470-72 recorded that “The king composed poetry and songs in the Persian language ( pārisībhāṣhayā ) and in the speech of Hindusthāna ( hindusthānavāćayā ) — is there anyone who do not praise them?” However, it is unknown to which language of India this word referred to.

Furthermore, Hindustani in the Nagari script can also be found in legal documents. I would just like to refer to the multilingual “Certificate of the inhabitants of Benares addressed to the Hon. Company and Governor General Warren Hastings (1772-85) in support of ‘Ali Ibrāhīm Khān, governor of Benares (1781-92)’, now preserved in the India Office Collection of the British Library. I am quoting one of its Hindustani sections to show how the language looked in the early 1780s (with b-v distinction and punctuation added by me).

navāb amīrul mamālik gavarnar janaral bahādur ke ekbāl se vo prajā ke bhāg se navāb ibrāhimalī khā bahādur kāśhī ke hākim hai [.] īśhvar yah hākimī dāim-kāim rahai (? rakhai) [.] jo likhā hai so sab sahī [.] sab brāhmaṇ rājī hai [.] āśirvād dete hai ki kumpanī salāmat rahey jiske rāj mai etā sukh hai [.]

नवाब अमीरुल ममालिक गवरनर जनरल बहादुर के एकबाल से वो प्रजा के भाग से नवाब इबराहिमली षा हबादुर काशी के हाकिम है। ईश्वर यह हाकिमी दाइम-काइम रहै। जो लिखा है सो सब सही। सब ब्राह्मण राजी है। आशिर्वाद देते है। कि कुंपनी सलामत रहै जिसके राज मैं एता सुख है।

By the acknowledgment of the Governor General the lord of the provinces and by the good fortune of the people, Navāb Ibrāhim Alī Khān is the governor of Kashi. May God keep this governorship safe and long. What is written here is all true. All the Brahmins agree. The give their blessings for the wellbeing of the [East India] Company under whose rule there is so much bliss.

This was the language from which the British claimed to have created a new one. The intervention of the British was limited to the purging the vocabulary of Persianate elements. Thus, they created not a new language but a new style of an already existing language. The above statement of the Benares Brahmins shows that the idea behind this new style, namely that Hindus use a Sanskritised language, was incorrect. When needed, Brahmins were able to use a Persianised register and mix it with a Sanskritic, and indeed English, one ( āśirvād dete hai ki kumpanī salāmat rahey ).

A parallel development of the language, its standardisation, was the result of a collective effort. Hindustani was standardised into its single modern grammar by Urdu intellectuals in the 18th century and by print culture and Hindi intellectuals in the 19th century. Although Fort William College also had its share in it, claiming its entire agency is exaggeration. In many cases standardisation meant purging Hindustani of its Brajbhasha features and thus distancing it from an “effeminate”, “feudal” idiom.

Although the colonial claim that the British created a new language – a language appropriate to the modern needs – has taken deep roots in contemporary thinking, it is only partially justified. Hindustani in the Nagari script existed much before colonial times. Standardisation happened over a long period and varieties of moderately Persianised Khaṛī Bolī, such as the language used by Prānnāth, existed earlier. The British created a highly Sanskritised style of Khaṛī Bolī perceiving it to be a Hindu speech variety. However, with an emerging Hindu nationalism, Hindi intellectuals more and more enthusiastically adopted the new style and became active agents in distancing it from Urdu, its other style, and in building it up into an ausbau language: Hindi.

Imre Bangha teaches Hindi, Urdu and Brajbhasha at Oxford University, and is currently researching the links between Old Gujarati and Old Hindi. 

Encyclopedia of Innovators and Innovations

  • Social Innovations

Who Invented Homework? Tracing the Origins and Innovators

who invented homework in hindi

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

who invented homework in hindi

  • Ancient Roots and Early Influences:

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

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

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

  • The Advent of Modern Homework:

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

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

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

  • Educational Philosophies and Homework:

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

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

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

  • Technological Advancements and Homework:

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

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

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

Origins of Homework: Myth vs. History

who invented homework in hindi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pliny the Younger and Homework:

who invented homework in hindi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homework As a Punishment? Debunking the Myth

who invented homework in hindi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confucius – First Teacher:

who invented homework in hindi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roberto Nevelis – Father of Homework:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horace Mann – The First School:

who invented homework in hindi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Henry Fischel – Pioneering Exams:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Demerits of Homework :

who invented homework in hindi

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

The Overwhelming Workload

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

Limited Creativity and Exploration

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

Detrimental Impacts on Mental Health

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

Inequity in Access and Support

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

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

Key Dates of Homework Invention :

  • Ancient Civilizations and the Birth of Homework

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

  • The Influence of Greek Philosophers

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

  • The Renaissance and the Rise of Private Tutoring

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

  • Johann Pestalozzi and the Modernization of Homework

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

  • The Industrial Revolution and the Expansion of Education

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

  • Maria Montessori and Progressive Education

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

  • Digital Age and the Transformation of Homework

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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Who Invented Homework?

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The task of homework is an integral part of the daily routine for children and their parents as well as educators. Who came up with the idea of homework? What was the catalyst that made it a requirement in schools? Here’s a quick overview of  homework’s background within the United States .

The Homework’s Origins: Myth vs. History

What was the initial to create homework? We won’t determine for certain. Its past was shaped by a range of individuals and circumstances. Let’s look at two of the main influencers.

who invented homework in hindi

The Dubious Roberto Nevelis of Venice

Homework is generally credited as a result of Roberto Nevelis of Venice, Italy who came up with the idea in the year 1095 or 1905, based on the source. On closer inspection it appears that he is more of a internet legend than a true figure.

Horace Mann

Horace Mann, a 19th-century politician and reformer of the educational system was a key person in the creation of the concept of homework. Mann as well as his fellow reformers Henry Barnard and Calvin Ellis Stowe was enthusiastic about the newly-unified nation-state of Germany’s mandatory school system for the public.

The mandatory tasks were given the Volksschulen (“People’s schools”) pupils to finish at home at their own pace. As liberals such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte were striving to build the support of a united German State, this requirement emphasised the power of the state over individuals. Although homework was in place prior to Fichte’s involvement with the Volksschulen however, his political agenda can be viewed as the catalyst for its acceptance as an academic requirement.

Horace Mann was a driving factor in the creation of a government-run, public education that was funded by taxes in America. On a trip through Germany during 1843, Mann observed the Volkschule system in action and brought back some aspects of its ideals, such as homework.

The American Public School System’s Homework

The concept of homework hasn’t always been widely accepted even though it is a common part of the American education experience. Teachers and parents remain in disagreement about its advantages and drawbacks, just as they have done for over 100 years.

In the 1900s The anti-homework movement and homework restrictions

A prohibition on homework was introduced within California in Pacific State of California in the year 1901, just two decades after the concept of homework had crossed the Atlantic. The ban, which was applicable to all students below 15 years of age and lasted until 1917.

At the same time and time, well-known magazines such as the Ladies Home Journal, and The New York Times published statements from medical professionals and parents who claimed that homework was detrimental for children’s health.1930 The Homework As Child labor

A group known as The American Child Health Association deemed homework as a form work for children in the year 1930. This was a less than favorable perception of homework as a suitable education method, especially since laws prohibiting child labor had just been put into place.

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

Teachers started seeking ways to make their homework more meaningful and personal for students in the second half of 19th and 20th century’s modern changes in education. Perhaps this is the cause of the famous essay question, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation?”

The Cold War: Homework Heats Up

After WWII and the Cold War heightened tensions between the United States and Russia in the 1950s. The launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 increased tensions between the two countries, especially in the case of their young.

The most effective way for ensuring that American students didn’t fall behind their Russian counterparts, particularly in the highly competitive areas of mathematics and science was for educators within the United States to assign demanding homework assignments.

The 1980s: A Nation at Risk’s Homework

What Works, a 1986 publication published by the US Department of Education, included assignments as among the best educational strategies. It came three years after the groundbreaking study

Early 21st Century: Homework Bans Return

Many teachers and other concerned people are questioning the worth of homework yet time and again. Concerning the topic, numerous publications have been released.

This includes:

  • 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 War Over Homework: Common Ground for Teachers, Administrators, as well as Parents  (Third Third Edition) written by Duke University psychologist Dr. Harris Cooper (2007)
  • “The End of Homework”: Why it disrupts families, burdens children, and hinders learning  by professor of education Dr. Etta Kralovec and journalist John Buell (2000)

The subject of homework is still a controversial issue in the present. Schools are now imposing homework restrictions like those that were in place in the beginning in the 20th century. Teachers are divided about the bans, while parents try to deal with the disruption to their everyday routines that these bans bring.

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  1. Homework

    Academic performance Senegalese child doing homework Homework research dates back to the early 1900s. However, no consensus exists on the general effectiveness on homework. [4] Results of homework studies vary based on multiple factors, such as the age group of those studied and the measure of academic performance. [5]

  2. Homework का आविष्कार किसने किया था ? / Who Invented Homework and

    This Video is about Who Invented Homework and Why ?, Homework was Invited By An Italian pedagog Roberto Nevilis is He was considered the real "inventor" of ...

  3. Who invented Homework? When, Where and Why

    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...

  4. The Homework Dilemma: Who Invented Homework?

    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.

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

    Source: twitter.com. 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.

  6. The Big Question: Who Invented Homework?

    Pliny the Younger Credit: laphamsquarterly.org 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.

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    No credible news source or website has ever mentioned the name Roberto Nevilis as the person who invented homework. In fact, it's possible that Nevilis never even existed.

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    Millions of children around the world, homework is still a huge part of their daily lives as students even if it continues to be one of their biggest causes ...

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    Who Invented Homework? 😡. View description Share. Published Jul 15, 2021, 10:36 AM. Description. Why would someone come up with an idea like homework? Was it a punishment? Or did someone think that it will make students smarter? Take a listen to how homework came about. I'm still frowning btw 🤬.

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

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

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    Hindi Translation of "HOMEWORK" | The official Collins English-Hindi Dictionary online. Over 100,000 Hindi translations of English words and phrases.

  13. Who Invented Homework and Why

    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.

  14. The Story Behind The Myth That An Italian Teacher Roberto ...

    Yingna Cai/Shutterstock. As both Through Education and The Ed Advocate report, somehow a myth entered the world's collective consciousness that an Italian man named Roberto Nevilis invented homework. Some versions of the myth even add some context: It was intended to punish underperforming students and to reward those who excelled at their lessons.

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

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

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    History vs myth A happy mother helps her son complete homework. Photo: Morsa Images Source: Getty Images 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.

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    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 ...

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    Legacy of Roberto Nevilis While the exact motivations and methods of Roberto Nevilis may remain shrouded in mystery, his legacy is undeniable. Homework has become an integral part of the...

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    Imre Bangha Books Culture History 12/Sep/2020 As a person who studies early modern vernaculars, I often hear the opinion that Hindi was created a little more than 200 years ago by the British....

  21. Who Invented Homework? Tracing the Origins and Innovators

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

  22. Who Invented Homework?

    Horace Mann. Horace Mann, a 19th-century politician and reformer of the educational system was a key person in the creation of the concept of homework. Mann as well as his fellow reformers Henry Barnard and Calvin Ellis Stowe was enthusiastic about the newly-unified nation-state of Germany's mandatory school system for the public.

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