The Life Of A Philosopher: John Amos Comenius (Jan Amos Komensky)

1537 words - 6 pages

The philosopher chosen for this research paper is John Amos Comenius, also known as Jan Amos Komensky. He was born in Nivnice, Moravia now known as the Czech Republic on March 28, 1592 and died November 15, 1670 in Naarden, Holland. He became a Morivian minister and dedicated his life to educating and writing books. John Amos Comenius was a philosopher who had his own ideas about education, how they came about, and how they influenced early childhood.

When Comenius was twelve years old his parent's died and was left an orphan. Since he was an orphan, his schooling started at a later age. He went to the Latin school at Prerau. During the time he was going to school at the age of sixteen, he was able to discern the inadequacies of the school, "As one of his biographers remarks: The defects of this early education were the seeds from which sprang the whole of his didactic efforts. Considerably older than his schoolfellows, he was able to criticise the methods and speedily arrive at the conclusion that the lack of progress was due more to the inefficiency of the teachers than to the idleness of their pupils" (Monroe, 1971:41). The experience served as an avenue for Comenius to begin thinking about making teaching better for the teachers as well as for the students. As the biographers continue to say, "From this time onward, he began to devise new methods of class instruction and better schemes of study. From the vivid memory of the horrors through which he had passed, of the thousand and one rules that had to be learned by rote before they were understood, of the monotonous study of grammar, only diversified by the maddening effort to translate Latin authors without the assistance of suitable dictionaries or commentaries, sprang that intense sympathy with beginners which characterizes his while life and gives practical worth to every precept that he enunciated" (Monroe, 1971:41). Comenius only went to this school for two years. Comenius than went to the college of Herbron, where he was taught by Professor John Henry Alsted and many others that influenced him in the special reformation of education. Alsted published in the "Encyclopedia of the Sciences the following:

(1) Not more than one thing should be taught at a time

(2) Not more than one book should be used on one subject, and not more than one subject should be taught on one day

(3) Everything should be taught through the medium of what is more familiar

(4) All superfluity should be avoided

(5) All study should be mapped out in fixed periods

(6) All rules should be as short as possible

(7) Everything should be taught without severity, though discipline must be maintained

(8) Corporal punishment should be reserved for moral offences, and never inflicted for lack of industry

(9) Authority should not be allowed to prejudice the mind against the facts gleaned from experience, nor should custom or preconceived opinion prevail

(10) The construction of a...

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