Comenius Life Sketch and Philosophical Views:
Comenius Brief Life Sketch:
Comenius was born in Nornitiz (Morevia). Both his father and mother died even when he was a child. Due to this misfortune, there could not be a proper arrangement for his education. His guardian admitted him to a poor school. He found that the best arrangements for education were only a few students. He was a very industrious and promising boy. At the age of 18 years, he got the opportunity to take admission in the Harborn University. He found that special interests were being taken towards the teaching of language in the university. This impressed Comenius very much. He developed a strong desire to search for the best method for the teaching of language. After four years, he got a place in Church and got an opportunity to write a book of grammar while continuing the teaching work. But he was exiled from his country in 1628 A.D. on account of his revolutionary ideas. He reached Poland and there he got an opportunity to give practical and mature shape to his educational ideas. He wrote a book named, “The Great Didactic” in which he propounded some principles for the guidance of the teachers. In the meantime, he also wrote Graded Text Books for the school children. In order to implement his educational ideas, he took a special interest in the publication of the books. He had to travel to Sweden and England for this purpose but he could not achieve any success. In 1657, he published a book named “Orbis Pictus” in which he propounded the method of imparting education through the medium of things in place of words. Comenius was once again exiled from his country due to antagonist situations. This time he reached Holland and there he established a mental hospital with the help of his Dutch guardian and his son. He passed the rest of his life in peace here.
Comenius Philosophical Views:
We may conveniently discuss the philosophical views of Comenius under the following headings-
(a) World is the storehouse of confusion and pains- In his book, “The Labyrinth of the world and Paradise of the Heart”, Comenius has written that the world is the storehouse of confusion and pains. To quote his words-
“This world and all matters concerning it are nothing but confusion and giddiness, pain and toil, deceit and falsehood, misery and anxiety and lastly disgust of all things and despair”.
(b) Relief from pains is possible through complete knowledge- According to Comenius, the end of the misery, worries and disappointments of the world is possible through complete knowledge. Therefore, he was of the view that every man should get as much as possible, opportunity to acquire knowledge so that he may get rid of the miseries and reach nearer to God.
(c) Man has unlimited power of development- While propounding that man has unlimited power of development, Comenius wrote the following in his book, “Didactic Magna”.
“Man is the highest, the most absolute and the most excellent of all things created. He lives threefold life…..a vegetarian, an animal and intellectual or spiritual…..The ultimate end of man is not preparation for this life but a preparation for eternity. There are three stages for his preparation to know oneself, to rule oneself and to direct oneself to God. For the attainment of this nature, God has implanted in man the seeds of learning, virtue and piety. The object of education is to bring these seeds into full flowering”.