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Payment Methods accepted by seller. AbeBooks Bookseller Since: May 31, Stock Image. Published by Psychology Press, New Condition: New Hardcover. Save for Later. Shipping: Free Within U. How many schools invoke the ideas of development, interest, spontaneous activity, etc. The true measure of active teaching a form of education that is perhaps almost as rare today as in the seventeenth century appears to, be the way in which truth is established. There is no authentic activity so long as the pupil accepts the truth of an assertion merely because it is conveyed from an adult to a child, with all the aura of explicit or implicit authority attached to the teachers words or those of the textbooks; but there is activity when the pupil rediscovers or reconstructs truth by means of external, or internal mental, action consisting in experiment or independent reasoning.
This all-important fact appears to me to have been clearly g rasped by Comenius. At the last school of which he was head, at Saros Patak in , he was led to reduce his fundamental principles of teaching to three:. Proceed by stages Omnia gradatim. This requires, with reference to all that is presented to the intellect, the memory, the tongue and the hand, that the pupils shall themselves seek, discover, discuss, do and repeat, without slacking, by their own efforts — the teachers being left merely with the task of seeing whether what is to be done is done, and done as it should be.
Patterns Of Developmental Change
Such an ideal of intellectual education is bound to go hand in hand with ideas on moral education, and these will serve as a kind of cross-check to verify to what extent Comenius has value for us today. In an age when the cane was a teaching instrument it was still recommended by Locke! The touchstone in such a matter will be the question of retributive justice or punishment. And Comenius is radically opposed to corporal punishment:. Indeed, by any application of force we are far more likely to produce a distaste for letters than love for them. Whenever, therefore, we see that a mind is diseased and dislikes study, we should try to remove its indisposition by gentle remedies, but should on no account employ violent ones.
The very sun in the heavens gives us a lesson on this point. In early spring, when plants are young and tender, he does not scorch them, but warms and invigorates them by slow degrees…. The gardener proceeds on the same principle, and does not apply the pruning-knife to plants that are immature.
In the same way a musician does not strike his lyre a blow with his fist or with a stick, nor does he throw it against the wall, because it produces a discordant sound; but, setting to work on scientific principles, he tunes it and gets it into order. Just such a skilful and sympathetic treatment is necessary to instil a love of learning into the minds of our pupils, and any other procedure will only convert their idleness into antipathy and their lack of interest into downright stupidity. But these decisive arguments against corporal punishment are not the only ones put forward by Comenius.
His whole chapter on school discipline shows his effort to use positive sanctions encouragement, emulation, etc. The virtues are learned by constantly doing what is right….
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So then, as boys easily learn to walk by walking, to talk by talking, and to write by writing, in the same way we will learn obedience by obeying, abstinence by abstaining, truth by speaking the truth, and constancy by being constant. But it is necessary that the child be helped by advice and example at the same time. But he who shows the way is not necessarily an adult. In a curious passage of the Methodus linguarum novissima , quoted by P.
Bovet, Comenius lays stress on imitation and group games, bringing his systematic mind to outlining the seven characteristic factors of such games. He appears, in this connection, to, have recognized the role of the social relationship set up among players of games, as well as the role of competition and the rules imposed upon players by the game.
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This topic will lead us, in the last part of out Introduction, to the social and international aspects of his doctrine. At a time when education had neither stable institutions nor general programmes of study, Comenius endeavoured both to build up a rational administrative structure and to develop graduated, coherent programmes. All this elaborately detailed planning was dominated by a twofold requirement of unity: horizontal unity in respect of curricula at a given level and vertical unity in the hierarchy of the stages of education.
In the first of these two respects, it is striking that Comenius, in the sphere of science teaching which does not appear to have been his favourite subject , has a very lively, very modern feeling of the interdependence of the sciences, necessitating co-ordination of the syllabuses:. From this [thoughts on the interaction of the parts of a system] it follows that it is a mistake to teach the several branches of science in detail before a general outline of the whole realm of knowledge has been placed before the student, and that no one should be instructed in such a way as to become proficient in any one branch of knowledge without thoroughly understanding its relation to the rest.
It is also interesting to see the importance Comenius attributes to the principle of the integration of previously acquired knowledge with that acquired later, following a pattern which is now matched even in our concepts of development. But another very interesting point about this organization is that Comenius wishes it to be the same for everyone—one school system for all:.
Some writers are of the contrary opinion.
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Zepper and Alsted would persuade us that only those boys and girls who are destined for manual labour should be sent to the Vernacular Schools, while boys whose parents wish them to receive a higher education should be sent straight to the Latin School…. From this view my whole didactic system forces me to dissent. But Comenius is not satisfied merely with these general principles.
He expresses astonishingly prophetic views on a number of questions. Two examples may be given here.
One of them concerns the education of girls. In this regard, he insists upon complete equality of the sexes, in accordance with his pansophic principle that everything must be taught to everyone:. Nor can any good reason be given why the weaker sex to give a word of advice on this point in particular should be altogether excluded from the pursuit of knowledge whether in Latin or in their mother-tongue …. They are endowed with equal sharpness of mind and capacity for knowledge often with more than the opposite sex and they are able to attain the highest positions, since they have often been called by God Himself to rule over nations … to the study of medicine and of other things which benefit the human race….
Why, therefore, should we admit them to the alphabet, and afterwards drive them away from books? The slower and the weaker the disposition of any man, the more he needs assistance….
Nor can any man be found whose intellect is so weak that it cannot be improved by culture. We thus see how the architecture of a system in which a parallel is established between man and perpetually formative nature inspires not only a functional system of education, but also a conception of the general organization of education. This leads us on to the social and international aspects of the doctrine. The most surprising, and in many respects the most modern, aspect of his doctrine has been kept till the last—his ideas on education for everyone and for all peoples, and what is still more astonishing on the international organization of public education.
The starting point of the sociological aspect of his educational philosophy is the statement of the universal right to education on a basis of equality. But the corollary is an extremely bold one, when we consider this ideal of democratic education in its seventeenth-century historical context. If this universal instruction of youth be brought about by the proper means [says Comenius], none will lack the material for thinking and doing good things.
All will know how their efforts and actions must be governed, to what limits they must keep, and how each must find his right place…. The children of the rich and the nobles, or those holding public office, are not alone born to such positions, and should not alone have access to schools, others being excluded as if there were nothing to be hoped from them. The spirit bloweth where and when it will. It is intended for all men, irrespective of social or economic position, religion, race or nationality. Comenius has sometimes been criticized for neglecting individuality. But he was mainly concerned about the universal application of his doctrine.
In radical opposition to Jesuit education, which, at that time, was designed exclusively for those on the top rungs of the social ladder, Comenius defended his universalistic scheme, and its intensely democratic implications, with his ideas of a single school system and the obligation of the upper classes to see to the education of a nations entire youth. To have a method is not enough: the means to apply it must also be found; that is, it must be introduced into a body of legislative provisions designed to ensure its propagation.
His position as an orphan deprived of primary education no doubt did more to make him think about the relationship between school and personal work than a normal school upbringing would have done. He soon began to write a book of the same kind for the Czech public, and also embarked on a Latin- Czech glossary which he continued to perfect over a period of forty years.
On his return to Moravia, he became a schoolmaster and later the church pastor at Fulnek; but the insurrection in Bohemia, which marked the beginning of the Thirty Years War, was the start of his misfortunes. He fled from his home, lost his wife and young children, and began to wander from one lordly domain to another, writing works of consolation for his co-religionists and preaching a resigned withdrawal into the inner life of the mind.
And it was then, too, that he started to grapple with the great problem of his time, that of method. He wrote his Janua linguarum reserata , which was extremely successful, and his The Great Didactic originally written in Czech. But in his eyes these works were only stepping-stones to far more important objectives: he aimed at nothing less than a radical reform of human knowledge as well as of education.