Comenius was born in Moravian Margraviate to the family of a member of the Brotherhood. The birthday of the Teacher of the Nations, March 28, is celebrated in the Czech Republic as Teacher’s Day.
The beliefs inherited from their parents played an important role in the life of the future education reformer, especially after the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War.
After the defeat of the Czech uprising in the battle of Bílá Hora, he remained in the estates of his aristocratic supporters, in 1628 he went into exile for good. He sought peace in the face of violent Catholicism – he found it first in Lesnos, Poland, and then in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Jan Amos Comenius understood the point: that few can learn by force and do not have the effect required by education. According to him, learning must be natural, going from simpler to more complex.
Tomáš Havelka, Institute of Philosophy AS CR
In his life, Comenius had to deal not only with religious intolerance, but also with personal tragedies. His first wife and two sons died of the plague in 1622, but it is true that even worse, more than three decades later (1656), he suffered the loss of his intellectual property – manuscripts and prepared prints during the fire in Leszno .
Jan Amos Komenský en route from Moravia into exile in Leszno, Poland, year 1628
After the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years’ War, it was clear that hopes for the return of non-Catholic exiles to their homeland were dashed. Comenius symbolically said goodbye to his birthplace with the work Kšaft of the dying mother of the Unity of Brothers.
Bronze statue of John Amos Comenius in the Great Church of St. Welcome to Naarden, the Netherlands
He died on November 15, 1670 in Amsterdam. He is also buried in the Netherlands, in Naarden, where he has a museum.
Man of his time and moral role model
After Comenius, a graduate of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, a philosophical and, above all, pedagogical work that preceded the time has survived to some degree alive to this day. Among other things, he promoted physical education and the importance of teaching in the mother tongue, and in his opinion, students should also move from easier to more complex material.
According to Tomáš Havelka from the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, however, it is necessary to realize that JA Comenius lived at a certain time in the 17th century, still believing in the power of God.
“Let us just remember his solution in escaping from the labyrinth of the world: only from God did he define all thought, education and science. It is therefore not easy, and perhaps not entirely logical, to impose such a measure of prophetic ability on him that his thoughts, but necessarily devoid of a theological plan, apply even to our secular society. Even his valuable pedagogy stood firm in this theological-spiritual conception. “If we remove this mattress, then we are no longer referring to the original, but the remanufactured Comenius: truly designed, commemorative, iconic, the kind we wanted to show at HOW: Comenius in the Cultures of Remembrance,” he warned Novinky.
He added, however, that his own life was an example from which many lessons could be learned. “She is a model of a strong personality that does not fall defeated in case of failure or problem, even very serious, that interferes with privacy, existence and life itself. “Even after another imaginary knee, he was able to find new strength and although he was also a skeptic, he was able to repeatedly find new targets and thus new strengths,” Havelka explained.
“And not only that: an example can be the high morale, which he tried to fulfill himself and demanded the same from everyone, including civil servants. “His ideas for mutual agreement and mutual consensus are definitely a model,” said the Czech comedian.
Playing school is not just fun
To this day, for example, the works of the Comenius Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart or Orbis Pictus are known, in which he applied the principle School by Play (Schola Ludus). However, this does not mean teaching in a purely playful way, but the idea that a dramatic performance can develop a student’s personality and educate him.
According to Havelka, this is generally an interpretation of the thinker’s views on the reformed form of school teaching: “The school itself should be a pleasant place, attracting attention inside and out.”
His own early experience with modern education led him to the idea of changing the concept of current pedagogy. According to Havelka, he also realized the problems because he went to school at an older age than usual at the time.
Jan Amos Comenius
“He understood the essential thing: that there are few things he has to learn by force and he does not have the result he required from the training. According to him, learning should be natural, going from simpler to more complex, at every level of education, what was discussed in a simpler form should deepen. He placed great emphasis on making learning enjoyable and playful. “Teaching should therefore also be synthetic: that is why he recommended visual and visual supplements if it is not possible to gain direct experience with the described phenomenon”, the expert explained.
“The whole school had to be a place where students would not be afraid to go. According to the beginning, the teaching was easy, nice, enjoyable. School play was already part of such a playful teaching in the Comenius era, so the term “school is a game” is also a direct reminder of the dramatization of the Janua lingvarum (Gate of Languages Open) language textbook, which he organized as a school play called Schola ludus in Blatný Potok “, Havelka continued. However, it was also a relatively demanding teaching on stage in Latin.
Comenius also presents seven spheres of influence (family or politics) in the central work of the General Meeting on the Redress of Human Affairs, which, if properly managed, can transform society and heal the whole nation, according to an earlier statement by experts. University of Hradec Králové.
Everyone reads Comenius
According to the Academy of Sciences, there is now an ongoing online reading of Jan Amos Comenius’s work. The 24-hour initiative – from Saturday to Sunday at midnight – is supported by academics and enthusiasts from around the world.
Every next 15 minutes, the baton is taken by other readers from Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Hungary and the United Kingdom through the United States, Japan, Colombia to Russia and Israel. The participants are mainly representatives of universities, academic institutions, museums, but also professors and students from five continents. Only in the Czech Republic, except Prague, is it read from Brno, Olomouc, Ostrava, Pardubice, Uherský Brod or Přerov.
Map of the cities participating in the all-day reading of Comenius’s work
Photo: ASCR Institute of Philosophy
“In the beginning, we chose an excerpt from Panegersia or the General Awakening, in which Comenius addresses people around the world,” said comedian Vladimír Urbánek of the ASCR Institute of Philosophy, which organizes this reading with colleagues. Department of Comeniology and Early Modern Intellectual History.
In addition to Czech and Latin, which were Comenius’ own, there are many other languages - including English, Japanese, Esperanto and Kashubian. Quoted from philosophical and didactic works such as The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, Didactica Magna, Kindergarten Informatorium, the Orbis sensualium pictus manual or all the corrective works by Via Lucis and the General Consultation for the Correction of the People.
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