Who Invented Homework and For What Purpose
As most school and university students in the United States struggle with after-school assignments, not many really wonder about who invented homework. Even though it may seem that it has always existed, modern homework, as it’s known today, is relatively recent invention. Helping students to make decisions, analyze, learn to work independently, homework is not only progress evaluation, but also an important reflection of how efficient particular academic approach is.
Since the primary role of work at home is training, most college professors in the United States think that tasks which are done during off-school hours help them to control each student’s academic performance and suggest improvements when necessary. With clear benefits from both sides, it explains why was homework invented since it already left a significant trace in history.
How Homework Emerged
History of homework dates back to ancient Rome and Quintilian educational theory. As oratory skills teacher, he sought for the ways how memory and attention span of a person could be improved. Quintilian believed that ever since child's birth, parents should control how children speak and do their assignments properly. With this rather progressive method, he invented home tasks. Quintilian also insisted that studying in informal environment helped adapt knowledge to any situation.
However, he was not the one who invented homework in the USA. Here, its history includes several important battles.
From 1900 till 1915, it was believed that tasks beyond school damage health. Most famous is California 1901 anti-homework regulation law which limited individual assignments to high school only.
By 1940's, amount spent on home tasks was only 3-4 hours per week, which is unbelievable in comparison with modern situation.
In 1950s, because of social and political agenda, all kinds of additional assignments were invented. They instantly became an important educational part, especially in comparison with other countries.
1980s mark an important point saying that independent job does help with increasing cognitive skills.
By 1990s, amount of home assignments has not increased, but elementary school children were given more assignments, which resulted in an increase in private tutoring. As digital age emerged, in addition to home schools, home tasks basically became obligatory, placing an additional strain on skills.