History of Homework – How it Began
The very word ‘homework’ is enough to strike fear into the heart of students young and old whether studying in junior school, high school or college. Homework is often the bane of many students’ lives, bringing despair and disappointment whenever assignments are set.
This is most probably because students already spend a vast amount of the week at a place of education, around six hours per day typically, and they view their home as a place of respite from the daily learning grind. When you then have to do homework in this safe space away from the educational environment it can often feel like school has followed you home. Here we will be taking a closer look at how homework developed and how it has carried on to the present day.
What is my homework?
Homework is an activity set by a teacher to be completed outside of the classroom environment and is intended to focus a student on completing their own research. Too often in school pupils will rely on the teacher answering every question they have, but homework is designed to keep students on their toes and find things out for themselves. The other purpose of homework is to repeat the work done in class so that it sinks in and allows the practice to reinforce learning.
How did homework start?
The first instance of homework is attributed to the Italian professor Roberto Nevilis who taught in the late 11th century Venice. There was not enough time for the material to be covered in the institution so orders were made for the students to complete the lesson in their own time. There were probably lecturers before him who were given homework, such as in ancient Greece where students were asked to think about certain questions before the next meeting of minds took place.
Short history of homework in the USA
For many years homework was neglected by students and professors before the turn of the 20th century because children had chores to complete at home./li>
In the year 1901, legislation was passed in the state of California which stopped schools being able to issue homework for all children until the 9th grade. /li>
Later, in 1950, a change came where pressure was put on US schools to keep ahead of the pack due to the Cold War, so children and education once again became the focus./li>
By the 1990s children were given homework at all ages as an aid to their education, and it was also deemed appropriate as a method to bring about a stronger student-teacher-parent relationship.
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