Who invented studying? (Invention Timeline Explained)

The fascinating thing about studying is that it’s probably as old as humanity. If someone were to ask you who invented studying, you might not know what or how to answer. It may seem like a weird and silly question at first but thinking deeper, aren’t you curious about who or what started studying?

Studying is in human nature. We are born with curious minds, eager to know how everything works around us. It is safe to say that the human race invented studying. But, let us dive into the details of how studying evolved from mere human observation and curiosity to the formal education that we have nowadays. It’ll be interesting to study about, well, studying.

Who invented studying?

Since studying is believed to be innate in humans, scholars and archaeologists claim that humans started learning by doing 2 million years ago.

The studying’s key contributors (and evolution)

  • Homo habilis
    The Stone Tools

    Archaeologists unearthed simple tools in the caves where Homo habilis stayed 2.4 million years ago. The ability to make tools (and presumably use them) is one of the earliest signs of studying using a sophisticated brain.

  • Chiron, from Greek Mythology
    The Teacher of the First Teacher

    Well, if we’re going to talk about studying, we must answer the question “who taught the first teacher?” We have no way of knowing who it was. So, the Greeks came up with their answer. According to their mythology, Chiron was the person (uh centaur) who taught the first teacher. He has an excellent ability to impart his knowledge and guide students.

  • Confucius
    The Greatest Teacher

    Confucius is recognized as the greatest teacher of all times. He used his knowledge to teach students (rich or poor) about history, philosophy, and morals. His teachings were passed on to generations. Scholars of modern times still quote and use some of Confucius’s lessons.

  • Socrates
    The Teaching Superstar

    Socrates is the father of modern education. He preached that accepting you don’t know everything is the first step to learning. He encouraged his students to admit ignorance and seek answers to human questions. Educators are still using the Socratic method of teaching.

  • Horace Mann
    The First School

    Scholars acknowledge Horace Mann as the founder of the first regular school. Formal goals and rules of studying started because of Horace Mann.

  • Henry Fishel
    Inventor of Exams

    Students, Henry Fishel is the person to blame for your struggles! He invented the standardize method of assessment.

When was studying invented?

Technically, studying is as old as humanity since it is innate in human nature. The first evidence of studying was found around 2.4 million years ago.

A brief history of studying

Tracing the history of studying is extremely hard since it is technically as old as humans. Humans are naturally curious and observant. We are eager to know how everything works. Nowadays, people are studying different things. Some are fascinated with outer space, while others are more interested in the world under the sea. Some study humans, animals, plants, or insects. There are tons of things to learn and explore. This natural thirst for knowledge dates back to the time of the first humans.

There are pieces of evidence to believe that Homo erectus learn and study the world around them. In fact, they created stone tools for protection, hunting, and farming. Creating something to make life easier is an early sign of studying using sophisticated brains. Homo habilis had larger skulls, which is an indication of evolved or bigger brains. More enormous heads and brains mean they studied and used their minds more to survive.

The act of studying is also mentioned in different works of literature and cultures. The greeks regarded Chiron (from their mythology) as the centaur who taught the first teacher. He imparted his knowledge to heroes. A man from China named Confucius is dubbed as the greatest teacher of all time. Confucius is celebrated because he used his influence as a teacher to promote inclusivity among students. He taught history, philosophy, and literature to students regardless if they came from noble or poor families.

The modern form of studying started with Socrates. He preached the importance of continuous studying to his students. The Socratic Method, which he used to teach Aristotle, Plato, and other great minds, is still used by educators nowadays.

Studying became more formal and established when Horace Mann built the first regular school in 1887. He established specific goals and rules for studying. Later, many psychologists and scholars developed studying techniques to cater to students of all kinds.

The studying timeline

  1. 2 million years ago
    The First Human Tools

    Archeologists unearthed stone tools from the cave of Homo habilis, which proved their ability to think and study the world around them.

  2. 500BC
    The Teachings of Confucius

    Confucius had more than 3,000 students. He encouraged them to study history, ethics, philosophy, and nature.

  3. 450 BCE
    The Socratic Method

    The Socratic Method, from the teachings of Socrates, is an effective teaching and learning technique. Instead of answering right away, teachers encourage students to seek answers on their own through studying and research. 

  4. 19th Century
    The Imperial Examination

    Henry Fischel invented the concept of an exam which motivated students to study more.

  5. 1887
    Start of Regular School

    Although there were several informal schools before 1887, Horace Mann established the first regular school.

Where was studying invented?

The earliest evidence of studying dates back to 2.6 million years ago. Sharpened stones used as tools by early men were found in Ethiopia.

The importance of studying

  • Builds personal skills

    Studying and learning new things can boost your confidence and self-esteem. It also reduces anxiety and stress when facing difficult and unfamiliar situations.

  • Key to effective communication

    Being knowledgeable about a certain topic makes it easier for a person to express and articulate her thoughts concisely.

  • Keeps the brain sharp

    Continuos studying helps keep your brain sharp. Reading books and learning new skills can slow down memory loss and can even reduce the chances of having cognitive impairment.

  • Climb the corporate ladder

    Studying helps you grow professionally. It can be a post-graduate degree, a workshop, or a seminar. Whatever the form, studying enables you to upskill yourself, opening doors to opportunities and promotions. 

Studying by the numbers

  • 20 to 30While studying, it is a good idea to take a 20-30 minute break once in a while. This is enough time to rest your eyes, stretch your legs and arms, and recharge your brain.
  • 3 to 7 The recommended time for studying is between 3-7 am. Since your brain is ready to receive new information.
  • 8 to 9 A good night’s sleep of around 8-9 hours is essential to ensure an effective study session. Your brain will have a hard time absorbing new information if it’s tired and full from lack of sleep.
  • 2Universities advise students to study 2 times the time they spend in class. This includes homework, research, and exam preparations.

Five facts about studying

  • The SQ3R Method

    SQ3R is a studying technique that helps you gain more information about a text by following the five steps: skim, question, read, recite, and then review.

  • Brain Food

    Most students study with coffee, chocolates, and sweets to boost their energy. However, this type of food can negatively affect you in the long run. Instead, try some brain food like apples and nuts.

  • The Feyman Technique

    This studying technique claim that explaining a topic in simple terms can help you understand the concept more. You can also do the Feyman technique by teaching your peers or classmates about a particular topic.

  • Playing is Studying for Kids

    Kids take playtime seriously. It is their way of studying how the world around them works. So, it can be beneficial for children to have independent playtime. Giving them time to explore in a safe space is also essential.

  • Studying Change Your Cells

    Learning something new is like exercise to your brain. Studying helps hone memory muscles and improve brain cells activities. Your brain can actually function more efficiently since the brain activities caused by studying reinforce the myelin sheath.

FAQs about studying

  • What is the importance of studying?

    If you make studying a habit, it can change your life. Gaining more knowledge and expanding your areas of expertise can boost your confidence and self-esteem and make you more competent.

  • Is studying a need in life?

    Yes. We do study for our continuous development. It is essential to increase our knowledge and not to be stagnant on what we already know.

  • Where do we go to study?

    Anywhere is fine as long as you are comfortable in it. However, most people prefer quiet places like libraries or learning pods with fewer distractions.

  • What is the best time to study?

    Most students love to burn the midnight oil when studying. However, research suggests that early morning is the best time to study since your brain was recharged from a good night’s sleep.

  • Is studying fun?

    Yes. Studying is supposed to be fun and exciting. People love learning new information and acquiring new skills.

Leave a Comment