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San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Education was an on-going concern.

In 1641, Bishop John Comenius was invited by parliament to join a commission reforming the public education system. The Civil War stopped this so in 1642 Comenius went to work with Queen Christina reorganizing Swedish schools. Later in 1642 Comenius moved to Elbing in Polish Royal Prussia. In 1648 he returned to England with Samuel Hartlib, who came from Elbing.

In 1650 Comenius went to Transylvania to be professor in the Hungarian Protestant College and wrote some important works.

In 1654 Comenius moved to Leszno. During the Northern Wars he declared for the Protestant Swedish, so Polish partisans burned his house and manuscripts in 1656. Comenius moved to Amsterdam, where he died in 1670.

After religion, Comenius' passion was using Baconian organization for human knowledge. He led the encyclopedic/pansophic movement, and sacrificed practical opportunities for these visionary projects.

In 1639, Comenius published Pansophiæ Prodromus, and in 1640 Samuel Hartlib published the plan of his pansophic work in outline. Sadly the manuscript was burned in 1657. But his pansophic ideas appeared in his textbooks which tried to organize all human knowledge in outline, for a child.

His influence was in practical education. (1) He was a teacher and organizer of schools. In Didactica Magna he outlined America's school system: kindergarten, elementary, secondary, college, university.

(2) in the general theory of education; he was first to say “education according to nature”. He systematically applied principles of investigation formulated by Francis Bacon and Descartes. The system is explained in Didactica Magna, completed 1631.

(3) subject matter and education methods were explained in a series of textbooks. First Janua Linguarum Reserata issued 1631. Next came a more elementary text, the Vestibulum, then a more advanced one, the Atrium, and 40 other books.

In 1657 he published the Orbis Sensualium Pictus, probably the most widely-circulated school textbook. It was the first successful application of illustrations for teaching.

His books all promoted: (1) learning languages through the vernacular; (2) obtaining ideas through objects; (3) start with objects most familiar to the child to introduce both language and the more remote world of objects: (4) give the child knowledge of environment, physical and social, and religious, moral, and classical instruction; (5) make learning a pleasure not a task; and (6) universal education.

As a theologian, Comenius was a mystic, believed in prophecies, dreams and revelations. His interpretation of Revelation saw the millennium in 1672, and guaranteed miraculous assistance to anyone destroying the Pope and the Hapsburgs, naming Cromwell, Gustavus Adolphus, and George I Rákóczi, prince of Transylvania, to do it.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Amos_Comenius

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