What Is Homework in Contemporary Education?


Homework is several assignments given to pupils/students by their educators to be fulfilled at home. It includes writing a project, reading, mathematical exercises, or reviewing some information.

Nowadays, homework is an essential part of the educational process. It makes learning more productive and effective. We recall doing homework since school. Whereas few of us wondered who invented it. We never knew the name of that awesome person, when it happened, what was the primary task. In this article, we will try to uncover these questions. It’s also important to comprehend what practical value does the teacher see in everyday homework tasks.

Several Curious Facts about Homework

The term homework was mentioned in the ancient Rome era. Pliny the Younger, who taught the oratory, in I century AD asked his pupils to take part in at-home activities. The goal of these gatherings was to help a pupil to develop speaking skills in more casual surroundings. The results of these unusual assignments were unexpectedly good. This novice approach was also used by some more educators who would like to achieve better results. But officially the name of the person who ‘invented’ homework is Roberto Nevilis. He was a teacher from Italy. In fact, in 1905, he invented homework to punish his students. Since that time, the practice of doing homework has spread all over the world and become ‘universal.’

At the end of the 19th century, essential alterations in the system of education took place. There were changes in the frequency and types of home exercises. It all influenced the quality of education. 

At first, teachers who used this new approach thought of this assignment as compulsory. It was a significant and important task. As has been noted, learning gives better results when pupils fulfill their homework. Homework was classified as an independent work. It meant that the ability of the independent work of a pupil was greatly valued.

A home task should possess certain characteristics to be able to reach the educational goals set by the teacher:

  • it should be doable;
  • the tasks should be of appropriate length and complexity;
  • to do the task, pupils should have the necessary skills to work independently.

A home study is on the rise. To be able to do tasks at home contributes to the whole studying process. As one of the essential tasks is to raise the quality of education, homework is a valuable tool for that.

When And By Whom Was Homework Invented?

Roberto Nevilis, an Italian teacher, invented such assignments as homework. Since the year of its invention in 1905, there were great changes and improvements in the educational agenda. Education grew more efficiently.

Teachers who possess traditional views on the educational process are sure that studying at home is a very significant aspect of effective studies. As Nevilis stated, homework improves initiative, independence, creativity.

There are several factors that determine the necessity of homework:

  • At school, students gain and accumulate new material. Homework is needed to refresh material to prevent forgetting it.
  • To know the scientific theory well, it’s necessary to comprehend the material and assimilate it;
  • The strength and deepness of school material assimilation is improved greatly in case its memorization is dispersed;
  • Homework helps students to improve their creative abilities and talents.

The achievements in the study depend on the quality of homework preparation. This correlation was discovered when the homework was invented. To organize material and exercises for your homework well is one of the most significant but important aspects of the educational and teaching process. A few sides of this problem should be closely paid attention to by the teacher.

When teachers have to write a task for children, they should understand that the process of assimilation of educational material encompasses several obligatory steps:

  • Perception of material;
  • Comprehension of material;
  • Fastening the material;
  • Formation of skills;
  • Practical application of new skills and knowledge;

Purposes of Homework

There has been a long discussion as far as the significance of the homework is concerned. There are those who believe that to assimilate the material well, it’s not necessary to do homework, but new scientific studies reveal quite the opposite results. In accordance with recent research, homework is significant to raise the quality of the knowledge students to receive. It is true about elementary school, as well.

Roberto Nevilis stated that homework as an academic task provides students with the following possibilities:

  • work at the desired pace;
  • study without hindrances;
  • choose hours;
  • independent planning of the work process;
  • using various sources of information.

Taking into account the points mentioned above, it’s possible to enumerate the following benefits of this academic assignment:

  • fixing in memory the material that a pupil learned in the classroom;
  • repetition of the material;
  • using and developing skills useful for independent study.
  • Principal objectives of doing homework:
  • it supports responsibility, strong will, and independence;
  • it develops the abilities of educational work;
  • it forms the ability to gain necessary knowledge from different sources;
  • it forms research skills such as hypothesis construction, assumption, comparison.

For pupils and students to successfully master and assimilate the program material, there is an appropriate system of homework tasks for every class. This explains the existence of various types of homework. The education ought to differentiate the tasks and choose the most appropriate for the studied material. It’s important to match the type of homework and the studied material for every class. Homework should motivate the creative approach and independent thinking in students.

Types of Homework

At the beginning, just after the homework was invented, there weren’t too many kinds of individual tasks. It was tough to make up an effective formula for at-home studies since there was not enough time to perform tests and to evaluate results.

In contemporary educational institutions, teachers make use of the following kinds of homework:

  1. Students learn the material from the textbook;
  2. They perform an oral exercise;
  3. perform a written exercise;
  4. perform a creative task (write an essay, etc.);
  5. prepare a report on the subject;
  6. prepare a report on the material;
  7. conduct experiments and observations.

Reasonably combining these methods, it’s easy to assist students or pupils in assimilating information.

How Does Homework Help to Raise the Quality of Education?

When teachers improve the educational content and the organization of home tasks, it’s the way to make the assimilation of material easier. There’s a vast majority of tasks, and all of them are created to raise the quality of learning, enhance the process of study, organize and assimilate the knowledge.

Research has shown that methods of activity, such as types of tasks, are significant. In class, pupils or students perceive material for the first time and accumulate it. It happens along with effective organization and guidance. After that, the material has to be recalled and applied to help it to assimilate. The first perception and accumulation of the material happen in the classroom; further work is independent and individual.

Being a means to control a pupil or a student, homework gives additional time and opportunity to study the subject. By doing your homework, you organize the knowledge acquired in class and improve skills on a certain topic. If you don’t complete at-home tasks, you deprive yourself of significant amounts of educational time. The purpose of such tasks is to accumulate knowledge and practice the necessary skills learned during the lesson.

Although this article mostly dwells upon the benefits of doing homework, there are those who think that doing homework is not always worth it. Their main argument is that doing homework may cause unnecessary stress and deprive pupils or students of time to rest, communicate, or go in for sports.

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