Who Invented Homework and Why?

6 Jul

Who Invented Homework and Why?

Homework has been part of the educational practice for many years. It enables students to continue the learning process at home. Secondly, with the limited sessions for subjects during class hours, homework gives students enough time to research, learn through the process while solving questions. In the end, they get a better understanding of the subject matter. However, there are different views on the importance of homework. Despite a recent scientific study proving that homework helps in improving students, some people believe it does it.

But have you ever thought of who invented homework and when did it happen? In this post, we will discuss the person behind homework, and the reason why.

So when was Homework invented

Dating back to the ancient Rome era, an oratory teacher named Pliny the Younger, invented homework in the I century AD. He did this by asking his followers in Quintilian to partake in some home-based activities aimed at developing their speaking skills in an informal setting. With an impressive outcome of such events, many teachers adopted the practice.

Another school of taught suggests the Italian pedagog Roberto Nevilis as the inventor of homework in 1905. He used practiced to punish his student. Homework since became a global phenomenon. However, it was not until the end of the 19th century that the educational system regularised the practice.

Why Homework was adopted

With time, educators began to appreciate the importance of the home tasks and its contribution to students’ development. Hence, it was adopted as a type of educational training. It has since served its purpose of the invention by bringing the best out of students. In addition, the practice has ensured independent studies, allowing students to learn on their own.

That said, homework must fit the following standard.

  • It should be set after classes and not before so that the students can have an idea about it.
  • It should be a reasonable task
  • Not too complex to overwhelm the students

Now coming back to why the invention of homework, the person who invented homework had a purpose. Mostly, educators concentrate on what is in their training material or lesson notes during class hours. As a result, students end up forgetting what was thought because there will be several other lessons in the day. Therefore home takes were aimed to;

  • Improves the teaching and learning process
  • Continue the learning process at home
  • Students have different IQ levels and abilities to memorize; therefore, homework allows for learning at their own pace.
  • It ensures creativity, skill development, working alone with little or no supervision, and individuality.
  • Master or memorize what was learned on their own because students turn to remember what they learn more than what they are taught.


The person who invented homework had a clear purpose for it, and that should not be short-changed. Yes, education has evolved and improved since the invention of the home-task, but its core purpose must remain intact. As an educator, you should access the strength of your class before assigning any task. Anything aside from that would be seen as a punishment.

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