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Johan Amos Comenius         ...         Jan Amos Komensky        ....    


 

 

 

 

 

 


From:

  The Great Didactic    


  written   1628-32

 

 

The proper education of the young does not consist in stuffing their heads with a mass of words, sentences, and ideas dragged together out of various authors, but in opening up their understanding to the outer world, so that a living stream may flow from their own minds, just as leaves, flowers, and fruit spring

 

If we examine ourselves, we see that our faculties grow in such a manner that what goes before paves the way for what comes after. 

 
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Geographers [and mapmakers] present to the eye huge tracts of sea and land on a small scale, so that they can be taken in at a glance. Why, therefore, should not Cicero, Livy, Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Tacitus, Gellius, Hippocrates, Galen, Celsus, Augustine, Jerome, etc., be treated in the same way and epitomized? These epitomes should contain the whole author, only somewhat reduced in bulk.

Not the children of the rich or of the powerful only, but of all alike, boys and girls, both noble and ignoble, rich and poor, in all cities and towns, villages and hamlets, should be sent to school

 

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The pupil should understand that what he learns is not taken out of some Utopia or borrowed from Platonic Ideas, but is one of the facts which surround us, and that a fitting acquaintance with it will be of great service in his life.

 

Much can be learned in play that will afterwards be of use when the circumstances demand it.

 

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Aristotle compared the mind of man to a blank tablet on which nothing was written, but on which all things could be engraved. There is, however, this difference, that on the tablet the writing is limited by space, while in the case of the mind, you may continually go on writing and engraving without finding any boundary, because, as has already been shown, the mind is without limit

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