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Things To Know About The History Of Homework In The United States

Homework has been a part of every student’s life for as long as they have known what a classroom looks like, so much that the term seems to go hand in hand with the concept of schooling. Throughout the world, students being given tasks to complete at home is the norm and it is only in recent times, and possibly as a result of the changing nature of the requests, have parents began to really question the supposed benefits of this practice. There are many things that can be said about this practice and in the following points, I will outline several factors concerning the beginning and evolution of homework in the United States.

  1. Beginnings
  2. The act of giving a students academic tasks to complete outside of normal school hours began early in the history of colonial America. At this time, education consisted mainly of some arithmetic, basic science and a lot of reading. Teachers at the time considered it quite useful to assign reading projects to students since they could accomplish much more reading on their own time, sometimes being required to write a short summary on what they have read.

  3. Purpose
  4. The original purpose may have been to provide children with activities to complete at home because they lacked much else to do in the early days of the US. It is also stated that more practice and study helps students to better understand and retain facts contained in their lessons.

  5. Changes in education situation
  6. In our modern age, the variety of educational subjects of study are vast compared to a couple centuries ago. As a result, assignment task have also become more complicated, often requiring students to accomplish complex tasks.

  7. Changes in amount of assignments
  8. As time went by, the tasks requested of students began to take on a different nature. Instead of a simple assignments to read about a particular topic, complete some math problems or write an essay, students are now required to craft huge projects, requiring materials not commonly found on school book lists.

  9. Relevance to learning
  10. Parents began to question the relevance of these homework task when they started being required to participate and spend extra money on them. They questioned the validity of these tasks, for instance, the creation of a science fair project, to learning and queried whether it was necessary to demand such extensive projects of young students.

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