If you are studying in an educational institution, you know all the pitfalls of the assignments that stick with you. Homework can be a real pain in the neck. But it is an indispensable part of our lives; thanks to it, we learn and absorb the school material faster. But have you thought about the essence of it all? What are they? Why was homework invented? What’s so crucial about it? Who invented homework? Has the goal of it changed throughout the years? These and other essential questions we will discuss in today’s educational blog.
History of Home Assignments
The definition dates back to the first century AD. Pliny, the Younger, who was a teacher of Oratory, assigned his learners to practice speech skills at home. The task’s primary aim was to advance speaking abilities. Pliny wanted everyone to brush up their oratory skills in a casual setting. And he succeeded in his intentions; the outcomes of such an experiment were striking. Consequently, his followers started implementing this technique more frequently.
However, it is a false statement that Pliny was the progenitor of home tasks. He used to assign tasks, and many colleagues borrowed this feature from Pliny. The thing is that Pliny the Younger did not consider it as compulsory home assignments, but rather speaking drills. Consequently, one might ask, “Who created homework then?” Let’s dig deeper into that question.
Who Invented Homework and Why
An Italian educator and teacher Roberto Nevilis is the pioneer of this educational tool. He created homework in 1905, and the primary goal of it was not to teach students but to punish them. Not only was homework invented as a punishment, but it also aimed to lower the graduate’s time spent on – as Nevilis used to say – harmful activities, such as sports, music, and non-academic occupations.
Sadly, this home task as a punishment practice remained, and some are still considered penalties for a misdemeanor. However, the end of the 19th and the first part of the 20th century were prominent due to substantial education system changes. There was much literature to cover, and teachers couldn’t deal with everything in class. That is why they started assigning tasks as a means of individual training. Such tasks were obligatory. In some sense, those who invented homework made teachers also depend on it. That is because educators used to build classes based on home tasks completion. Consequently, if a student didn’t complete the assignment, the teacher couldn’t move to the next topic.
The home assignment had to be doable and ensure students would complete it regularly. So the task had to follow these criteria:
- It had to be short;
- It had to be simple;
- Tutors had to assign home tasks after training students on how to work individually.
This process became a massive step toward qualitative education. As for now, home assignments are an indissoluble part of students’ daily routine. Love it or hate it, but people who invented homework and school assignments were student-oriented and had students’ interests at heart.
Is It Needed?
Many may ask, “Why in 1905 homework was invented for what reason; do we need it right now?” The answer is yes; we need home assignments. The progenitor of homework and his supporters stated that individual learning is useful for future academic success and a person’s general education. Apart from that, students develop their critical thinking and writing abilities, efficacy, passion, and deduction. Moreover, the group of Nevilis’s followers claimed that the following causes determine the necessity of homeschooling:
Within the classes, students are focused on the subject and can study the material. When the class ends, the concentration is lost, and students forget the class’s objectives. For that reason, home assignments are crucial. Many students have hidden scientific interest but can’t unlock it. Home tasks are crucial to help them find such interests. Memorization helps to flex brain muscles and remember the most critical information. Every student has to be creative and think critically. Homework develops such qualities.
The Main Purpose of Homework
There have always been debates regarding this educational process. Some scholars say that it makes students downgrade because learners need too much time completing them. Others say that individual work helps dive into a topic and research. That, in turn, advances a student’s critical thinking abilities and makes people improve.
While both sides have reasonable points, homework plays a pivotal role during our academic lives. Roberto Nevilis confirmed that home assignment assists us to:
- Remain focused and do not haste;
- Decide how much time we need to deal with it;
- Outline the working process;
- Become immersed in the topic, research, and find relevant sources.
The points mentioned above make home tasks become useful tools in students’ hands because they:
- Help to improve concentration and memorize the material presented during the class;
- Make you revise the information that you might use in the future;
- Enforce you to employ various skills required for individual work;
- Nurture the feeling of responsibility;
- Help you realize what you want to be occupied with in the future;
- Develop your ability to extract vital information from different dictionaries, books, repositories, and other databases;
- Format skills necessary when studying (assumption, comparison, contrast, hypothesis composition).
Despite various claims about the homework’s uselessness, home assignments are still one of the best sources to enlarge your knowledge on different topics. Scientists empirically identified that homework develops students’ self-discipline and increases the desire to study (if assigned in moderation).
Today’s system of education is not nearly the best. Students tend to be avalanched with assignments. It should be changed. In each case, homework is not just bombarding students with tasks so that they have to spend hours outside the college to deal with assignments. First off, it is an excellent opportunity to sharpen your abilities on a specific topic. Home tasks are tightly connected with in-class activities. So whenever you skip homework, you lower your chances of getting proficient in a particular subject and won’t be able to consolidate knowledge and practice obtained abilities.
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