Homework is something that many students hate, even though it forms an integral part of any educational institution. It is a concept that goes back to the beginning of formal education.
Homework was not always compulsory. There are some theories about whose idea it was to make students complete their home assignments, but no one knows who invented homework. Below are some allegations on how homework came to be:
Roberto Nevilis-Italian Teacher from Venice
The first allegation is that homework was invented by a well-known Italian teacher, Roberto Nevilis. This teacher wanted to motivate students to learn and, as such, gave them homework every day. This was when education was not compulsory, and those who could afford to send their children to school did so.
The motivation he wanted to instill in his students was a desire to learn and discover new things. However, his students found the homework to be too dull, and this greatly affected their learning.
As a result, Nevilis decided that he could not make the homework too interesting and instead watered it down. This led to his students learning less than they would have if he had given them rigorous assignments.
In the 1800s, homework was not popular. Many people believed that children needed to play with other children or do household chores. This continued until the 1900s when schools became more like business institutions and homework became popular.
The California Invention
Americans believe that homework originated from their country. Several schools in the late 1800s began adopting a system of home assignments. In 1901, a school board trustee from San Diego, California named Frank B. Gilbreth encouraged teachers to assign homework to children.
This idea was not popular at first but eventually caught on, especially after World War I, when soldiers had to manage their time between work and studying. By the 1930s, more than half of what students learned occurred outside of school during homework. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that homework became a compulsory process.
The Superintendent and his ‘No Homework Plan.’
In 1965 an American superintendent named George D. Strayer came up with a plan that would change the face of homework forever. This plan was called the ‘No Homework Week Plan’ and would occur at the end of every school year.
The plan was simple- it involved teachers deciding to give no homework for a week to let students recuperate from the school year. When this idea was presented to several other superintendents, they liked it and decided to adopt it under ‘Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day.’
This plan eventually evolved into what is now referred to as ‘Take Our Children to Work,’ when parents can bring their children into the workplace. This event is based on the idea that the children will see what their parents do and, therefore, be more motivated to study to follow in their footsteps.
These homework invention allegations are widespread, but there is no actual proof that each of them was the inventors of homework. Even though there’s no official inventor, it has become a compulsory part of education and has changed how we view it today.
Homework in the Post-industrial Revolution
In the post-industrial revolution era that came after World War II, homework has been described as getting students ready for the world of work. The argument is that schools should prepare students for the working world by teaching them how to work independently and manage their time.
This change in education also responds to the argument that schools are too focused on preparing students academically. There is an ongoing debate about whether or not this is beneficial, especially in terms of social and emotional development.
The idea that homework is necessary for children to succeed in school and life has never been so popular. But is it really effective? This ongoing debate has become even more popular due to the advanced technology used in today’s world. That being said, there are still several people who believe that homework is important and beneficial to students.
The educational system has changed a lot since the time when homework was not common in schools. Technology has advanced exponentially, and with that advancement, there is also more pressure on children to excel.
Many parents worry that their kids don’t spend enough time playing outdoors or having fun. They claim lack of playtime is the reason why children aren’t performing well in school.
Technology and other distractions have also been blamed for students’ poor performance in school. Therefore teachers believe that homework ensures that students stay engaged and learn even after school.
Some parents feel that excess homework makes their children too stressed out and that there’s a need for a balance.
Research has shown a significant negative relationship between the amount of homework students do and their quality of family life.
There is a wide range of types and amounts of homework assigned to students from kindergarten through high school. The modern education system takes care of all students at different levels.
Modern Homework Types
- Individual assignments. These include reading to improve speaking skills and calculations for math practice.
- Projects that students can complete with their parents or teachers available for support and guidance.
- Group projects that require students to work together toward a common goal and share responsibilities.
- Student presentations or completing written reports.
- Tests, quizzes, and midterms are common forms of homework in high school.
- Creative assignments and activities such as designing a poster or skit.
- Some teachers may require students to complete a certain number of written or oral questions on their own.
Homework: Pros and Cons
The arguments for and against the significance of homework are continuously being made. Some people believe that homework is necessary for students to succeed in school and help them become better prepared for the working world.
However, several people argue that homework is not beneficial and can be harmful to students if it is too overwhelming. Let’s explore both sides of the argument.
Benefits of Homework
- A good homework assignment helps students remember what they learn in school.
- When students can review their classwork at home, it can help improve scores on tests and other assignments and better understand the lesson.
- Homework can also help parents and teachers see where their children may be struggling and work with them to improve. This can be especially helpful for students who have trouble adjusting to a new school, teacher, or learning style.
- Seeking homework help from family members enables students to create a stronger bond with their loved ones.
- Giving homework helps teachers to hit their school calendar targets faster and accelerates the learning process.
- Some parents see the benefit of homework, including the fact that it helps foster responsibility and accountability.
- Every parent wants to give their child the best education possible, so many of them may see homework as an investment in their child’s future.
- Teachers assign homework so that students can learn independently. Teachers hope that this will create self-motivated learners who can manage their time and work efficiently.
- The idea behind homework is that students can learn essential skills, such as good study habits and organization. The educational process benefits continue beyond school.
Those who are anti-homework have their valid reasons, which include:
- Homework assignments can be stressful to students who do not have access to a quiet place to study.
- Too much homework can cause children to have little time for fun, making them stressed out and unhappy. It can translate to child labor if not regulated.
- It has also been linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety.
- Homework can be overwhelming and frustrating to students who do not understand the assignment or struggle with a subject.
- When kids are always doing homework, they are missing out on valuable family time.
- Homework might not be beneficial to students with learning disabilities, especially if there’s no one to help them.
- Most parents don’t have time to help their kids with homework, leaving them feeling guilty. The children also feel neglected and unimportant.
- Some teachers use homework to evade responsibility on their part. They leave students to figure out issues on their own then don’t bother to revise or check.
Whether the person who created homework was originally from Ancient Rome, America, or Italy is not crystal clear. However, many believe that home learning plays a key role in students’ life. Parents, students, and teachers are still divided on matters of homework and will probably never agree.
The most crucial step is to regulate the types and amount of homework assigned to students. This regulation will ensure a good balance between school and home life.