Why was Homework invented? The
introduction of homework was established to facilitate private study, using
practice and repetition to increase knowledge retention. The ancients had to
learn how to write and recognize their picture symbols just as today we learn
the alphabet and Math tables by rote i.e. a memorization technique based on
Definition of Homework: Homework is defined as school work consisting of a
set of tasks assigned by teachers to their students to be completed at home,
outside class and school in private study. For additional facts and information
refer to the article on Who Invented School.
Fact File: Who invented Homework? Invention: Homework *** Date of Invention:
c. 2900 BC to c. 3100 BC. *** Name of Inventor: Unknown *** Category: Education
*** Country of Origin: Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt *** The Invention of
Fact 1: Who invented Homework? Prior to the invention of Homework
there were no schools and knowledge or skills were passed on from father to son,
or from a craftsman to an apprentice. Any formal type of education was strictly
for the wealthy, and remained such until the 1900's when schools (and homework)
became more freely available.
Fact 2: Who invented Homework? The name of the inventor of Homework is
unknown but it was invented by the earliest civilizations established in Ancient
Egypt and Mesopotamia c. 2900 BC to c. 3100 BC.
Fact 3: Who invented Homework? The Mesopotamians and the Ancient
Egyptians were two of the first to emerge from pre-urban cultures and develop
the first civilizations to reach an advanced state of society, living in large,
organized communities with high levels of science, culture, religion, industry
Fact 4: Who invented Homework? Civilization brought Class structures,
State-level organization, full-time, non-agricultural specialists, surplus
production, extensive trading networks and wealth. The first writing systems
were invented by the Mesopotamians and the Ancient Egyptians to enable them to
keep accurate accounts and as these systems became standardized it became
necessary to educate others to keep records.
Fact 5: Who invented Homework? The Mesopotamians developed the system of
writing called Cuneiform and instituted 'Scribe Schools' in c. 2900 BC to
educate scribes in the ancient writing in order to keep records of the movement
of Temple grain and the numbers of cattle and sheep.
Fact 6: Who
invented Homework? A formal system of education was invented
c. 3100 BC by the Ancient Egyptians.
The establishment of the earliest Egyptian schools was made feasible with the
invention of the ancient form of pictographic text known as hieroglyphics and the invention
of papyrus for writing.
Fact 7: Who invented
great civilizations followed, such as the ancient Chinese, Mayans, Greeks and
Romans, who developed their own forms of writing and it became necessary to
introduce schools to pass on their knowledge to the next generations.
Fact 8: Who invented Homework? It is reasonable to believe that as
schools were established that some pupils lagged behind in their studies. As
education of the upper classes and priests had assumed such great importance it
was essential that the schools were successful. Homework was the method
chosen, together with other forms of punishment, to ensure that all students
reached a high standard of education, regardless of their natural abilities.
Fact 9: Who invented Homework? The invention of Homework, or private
study became a part of the school and education system.
Fact 10: Who invented Homework? Latin and Greek were the mainstay of
education in the Western world although limited to the wealthy or
non-agricultural workers such as Christian priests and monks.
Fact 11: Who invented Homework? The invention of the printing
press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 enabled the production of cheap books
and increased the availability of printed materials making homework more
Fact 12: Who invented Homework? The Industrial Revolution and the
increasing use of child labor in the factories saw establishment of various
reform movements to provide education to the masses and the need for education
Fact 13: Who invented Homework? In the 1800's schools were established
commonly using memorization and recitation to teach children. Homework was
distributed to speed up the educational process but this led to anti-homework
movements by those who needed their children to help on the farms.
Fact 14: Who invented Homework? Anti-homework articles began to appear
stating that five hours of education a day was "the most we should ask of our
children" and additional homework caused childhood nervous conditions and
Fact 15: Who invented Homework? Urbanization of countries such as the UK
and the United States transformed them from agrarian to an urban nations. Laws
were passed to regulate child labor and more attention was given to both
schoolwork and homework.
Fact 16: Who invented Homework? Anti-homework movements responded to such
an extent that various school districts in the United States, such as
Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco, passed anti-homework regulations.
Fact 17: Who invented Homework? In 1901 the California legislature passed
a law abolishing homework in grades K-8, and limiting it in high school.
Fact 18: Who invented Homework? The standards of education slowly
increased in the early to mid 1900's but following WW2 (1939 -1945) and the
immediate start of the Cold War (1945 - 1989) nations became concerned that
educational standards in the West were falling behind the East and additional Homework
was actively encouraged by all classes of parents.
Fact 19: Who invented Homework? Homework was seen as a method to
accelerate knowledge acquisition by student and increase the number of hours
children would spend on education and attempts were made to make homework more
individualized and creative.
Fact 20: Who invented Homework? The invention of modern technology,
especially the Internet and the
World Wide Web has completely changed the
notion of using home work primarily as a system of learning by rote, to far more
expansive system of education and homework whereby kids are encouraged to
discover information for themselves.
Fact 21: Who invented Homework? Access to the World Wide Web provides a
virtual library in every living room. Valuable time is saved by accessing and
instant source of information. The WWW enables teachers to communicate with kids
when they are at home and there are significant online components to most
Fact 22: Who invented Homework? The advent of technology has also led to
a dramatic increase in the amount of Homework given to kids at elementary
schools which has in turn led to complaints from parents who are concerned that
the increased levels of homework on younger children is having a detriment
effect on family life.
Fact 23: Who invented Homework? The debate over Homework will no doubt
continue over the years. In the last one hundred or so years Homework has gone
in and out of fashion. Time limits are again being debated on the amount of home
work given, especially to younger kids. But no doubt there will always be a
place for home work in education systems to consolidate skills and provide
students with the opportunity to answer new questions for themselves.