Who invented homework? | The Sun

SOME love it, others hate it, but very few of us have escaped having to do homework at some point in our lives.

But where did the idea of it come from – and how has it changed since it was first introduced?

Who invented homework?

Homework has been such a big part of many of our lives, but have you ever stopped to think why we do it, and who invented it?

There are many names associated with its invention.

The first mention of homework appears in ancient Rome, in the writings of Pliny the Younger, in 1AD.

Pliny, a teacher of oratory, is thought to have asked his students to practise their public speaking at home, to help them build confidence.

Homework became common as schooling became compulsory for many people across the world, towards the end of the 19th century.



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Why was homework invented?

Proponents of homework say it's important because:

  • Students can consolidate learning by practising what they have studied in school;
  • Teachers and students can identify gaps in learning when the student hands in assignments completed independently;
  • It gives students more time to learn something;
  • It helps students with time management.


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However, historically, homework hasn't been so popular with everyone and was even BANNED for 15 years in the state of California in the early 1900s.

Meanwhile, in the UK, students typically get more homework than in many other countries in Europe, with the weekly average per subject being five hours.

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What is the Roberto Nevelis myth?

The Roberto Nevelis myth is a spurious claim that has circulated online about who invented homework.

Nevelis may not have existed at all.

The claims appear mostly on forums and obscure sites, and no-one seems to be sure if he is supposed to have invented homework in 1095 or 1905.

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Both are unlikely, and you won't find information on him on any reliable history and biography sites.

It seems this explanation was simply made up – possibly by someone who should have been doing their homework.

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