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social historical events educational nature helped form shape John COmenius's educational worldview. Discuss key ideas influenced educational policy formulation / provision young children time history, ( relevant) NZ.
John Comenius is considered to be the father of universal education, a title awarded to him as a result of the theories that he introduced into the sphere of affairs. Comenius was born in Europe at a time when individuals started to express a particular interest in revolutionizing society and in improving conditions in a variety of domains. He is believed to have written more than 154 books across his lifetime and to have provided the world with essential knowledge in regard to education. Even with the fact that his education did not start until he reached the age of sixteen, his impressive ability to process information assisted him greatly in accumulating knowledge rapidly.
Comenius started his education at the Latin School in Prerov and later pursued an academic career at the Herborn Gymnasium and at the University of Heidelberg. Some of his teachers had a particular influence on him and he later came to use their theories as guiding principles in his work. His thinking and his theories in general proved to be negativistic in a context where the Counter Reformation movement was rapidly growing and threatening anyone who was unwilling to subject to the Catholic Church. Given that he wanted to bring his contribution to the world of education, Comenius began working as a pastor and parochial school principal in 1618, the year the Thirty Years war began" (Clemen, 2007, 1).
Being an ardent supporter of Protestant belief, Comenius was harshly treated when the Counter Reformation forces achieved victory against Protestant armies. His affiliation with Protestants and the fact that the Catholic Church held power over most of Europe at the time played a very important role in Comenius' life. This was the reason for which he spent several decades in complete poverty and traveling throughout Europe as a homeless expatriate. The suffering was amplified by the death of his first two wives and the death of several of his children. With the Counter Protestant forces pushing Comenius out of Bohemia, it became clear for him that he had to leave and reevaluate his powers in order to stand a chance against his aggressors. Even though Comenius had suffered greatly as a result of his involvement in the Protestant movement, some actually believe that he was one of the principal supporters of the Moravian Church, this being one of the reasons for which he was appointed Bishop of the Moravian Church. His interest in education and in improving educational systems brought him international recognition and saved him from anonymity.
In Comenius' opinion, it was irrelevant for individuals to put across philosophical thinking as long as these respective persons were uninterested in upgrading the educational system. During his time in Poland, Comenius considered that it was essential for society to experience reform and that the only way that it could move on was for him and for the general public to accept the implementation of an innovative educational system. Comenius did not want to discriminate and, in point of fact, promoted the belief that anyone could be taught as long as he or she was subjected to correct forms of education. The Czech writer was certain that society needed to experience a period of reform in order for it to be able to accept innovative thinking and in order for the Catholic Church to lose its power in the territory.
Pilgrim, the main character in "The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart" (which he wrote in 1623), experiences feelings quite similar to the ones experienced by Comenius in real life. All across his journeys he discovers that nothing is as it seems and that society is filled with treachery and wrongdoings. Even the noblest institutions are apparently corrupted and promote immoral values. Comenius wanted the world to differentiate between mainstream society and individuals like him and his friends. The writer strengthened his relationship with religion and with God and started to consider himself to be a person motivated solely by righteousness. It is actually difficult to determine whether Comenius was concerned about education solely as a result of his interest in teaching or if he wanted to use education as a tool to reform society. He realized that faith does not have to be connected to an earthly representative of God and that he could very well connect with the Divine without using human-related devices.
One of the main principles promoted by Comenius was Universality in connection to religion. From his perspective, God and Jesus Christ were not solely interested in the well-being of Christianity, as everyone, regardless of their backgrounds, were worthy of being God's followers. It was this position in regard to religion that earned Comenius international recognition. "Comenius believed there was only one truth. The light of reason must submit in obedience to the will of God. This is Comenius' fundamental, pedagogical and pansophic principle" (Clemen, 2007, 1).
The originality that Comenius involved in writing in regard to education brought him a great deal of appreciation from educational leaders from all across the world. Comenius believed that people should first consider their life experiences in coming up with an effective plan to remedy their lives and society in general.
One of the main reasons for which Comenius was interested in improving the educational system was his focus on returning to his homeland in Bohemia. In spite of the fact that he never actually succeeded in returning home, he managed to support a movement that upheld Czech culture and which made it possible for the Czechs to maintain their national identity regardless of who held authority over them. Comenius was certain that most Catholics were unable to think logically because of the education that they received in their early lives. He was thus motivated to develop a new educational system that would assist children in discovering their personal identities without attempting to cloud their thinking.
Comenius was completely against the Catholic Church for the fact that it manipulated people into acting in accordance with what its regulations. Most Catholics were inclined to support the Church in its techniques of educating individuals and agreed that children could only learn if they were forced to do so. Not only did Comenius consider that there was a pleasant side to education, as he also promoted the belief that gender should not represent a tool for discrimination when concerning education. Comenius' "goal was to have teachers use children's senses instead of memorization to learn language and new concepts" (Leonard, 2002, p. 146).
Comenius was certain that children would learn more efficiently if teachers were to focus on their students' senses. In his opinion, every child was able to learn and all that he or she needed in order to process information was an effective educational system. He compared children with paper and the overall teaching process with the printing press model. "Instead of type, we have classbooks and the rest of the apparatus devised to facilitate the operation of teaching. The ink is replaced by the voice of the masters, since it is this that conveys information to the minds of the listener, while the press is school discipline, which keeps the pupils up to their work and compels them to learn" (Comenius, 1896, p. 441).
Although Comenius' contemporaries were hesitant about agreeing him when it came to his beliefs in regard to education, matters gradually changed across time and people accepted the fact that children were, in fact, more likely to experience positive results in schools and later in their lives if they were subjected to correct education forms. Comenious was certain that any professor would be successful in his or her field of work as long as he or she used the right tools to create a learning-friendly environment. He wanted children to be treated with kindness, as he considered that only by residing in a positive environment will students be able to develop their abilities.
The fact that Comenius used illustrations in his books played a major role in bettering the educational world. Numerous children have benefited from the fact that they had access to illustration books and many individuals today learn how to read and write easier because of the fact that they associate sounds with illustrations. Learning becomes less tedious when illustrations are involved and Comenius was among the first individuals to acknowledge this. Visual messages proved to be stronger than many educational techniques that people used before trying Comenius' methods.
Comenius was most probably certain that a world with a high number of educated people is more likely to support moral activities. Although memorization is widely accepted as an effective tool of teaching children, it is easier and less time-consuming for teacher to exploit children's senses as a means of having them process information (Leonard, 2002, p. 146).
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