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Bacon's Advancement of Learning, and even more from the Encyclopædia of Alsted, one of his teachers at Herborn. In the Great Didactic Comenius formulated an educational aim and constructed an educational organization of his own. Probably, as an outgrowth of his religious attitude, he held to 'knowledge, morality, and piety' as the ideals of education, and advocated universal education for 'boys and girls, both noble and ignoble, rich and poor.' His organization of education consisted of four periods of six years each. The first period of instruction was that through infancy, or up to the age of six. It was to be given in the school of 'the mother's lap,' which should exist in every house. For childhood, or from six to twelve, was to be organized the 'vernacular school,' which should appear in every hamlet and village. From that time up to eighteen comes the 'Latin school,' to be maintained in every city; and, finally, for youth from eighteen to twenty-four, there should be a university in every kingdom or province. Such an organization would have made education universal, and would tend to bring about the custom of education according to ability, rather than social status, which was a suggestion some three centuries in advance of the times.
His Encyclopædic Arrangement of Knowledge.-The rest of the works of Comenius may be regarded as amplifications of various parts of this Great Didactic. Besides the Janual series, which he seems to have written for the Latin school, he produced a set of texts for the vernacular school, which soon disappeared, and a handbook for the lowest work, called The School of Infancy. But the phase of the Great Didactic most often elaborated was the realistic one of pansophia or 'universal knowl- training at
every stage of edge.' This principle was not only exemplified in such works as the Janua and Orbis Pictus and in treatises he wrote upon astronomy and physics, but in various educational institutions that he undertook to found, and it remained the ruling passion throughout his life. In the Great Didactic he went so far as to hold that an encyclopædic training should be given at every stage of education, mother school, vernacular school, Latin school, and university.
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But, while even in the mother school the infant was to make a beginning with geography, history, and various sciences, grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic, music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, and the rudiments of economics, politics, ethics, metaphysics, and religion, his attainment was not expected to be as formidable as the names of the subjects sound. It was to consist merely Each succeed in understanding simple causal, temporal, spatial, and large the body numerical relations; in distinguishing sun, moon, and of knowledge. stars, hills, valleys, lakes, and rivers, and animals and plants; in learning to express oneself; and in acquiring proper habits. It was, in fact, not unlike the training of the modern kindergarten. In a similar way each succeeding stage is to enlarge the body of knowledge along all these lines. "The different schools are not to deal with different subjects, but should treat the same subjects in different ways; throughout graduating the instruction to the age of the pupil and the knowledge that he already possesses. In the earlier schools everything is taught in a general and undefined manner, while in those which follow the information is particularized and exact." Moreover, beyond the university, which, like the lower schools, was to make teaching its chief function, Comen
ius held it to be important that somewhere in the world there should be a 'didactic college' devoted to scientific The 'didactic investigation, in which learned men from all nations nations. should coöperate. Such an institution would form a logical climax to his system of schools, bearing the same relation to them that the stomach does to the other members of the body by "supplying blood, life, and strength to all.”
The Method of Nature. The way in which this pansophic instruction should be given, Comenius also intended to have in full accord with sense realism. He insists that the 'method of nature' must be observed and followed, and then shows how nature accomplishes all things 'with certainty, ease, and thoroughness,' in what respects schools have deviated from the principles of nature, and how they can be rectified only by following her plans. These principles concerning the working of nature were laid down a priori, but it is probable that they had been previously worked out inductively from his schoolroom experience. At times, though, they were put in the form of fanciful analogies. For example, analogies, he declares that because a bird by nature hatches her young in the spring or early part of the year, schools have erred (1) in not requiring education to begin in the springtime of life, or boyhood, and (2) in not selecting the springtime of the day, or the morning hours, for study.
But it is not remarkable that, with all his realistic tendencies, Comenius did not consistently employ induction. The natural sciences were young in his day, so that he did not altogether grasp their content and method, and he had partially inherited the scholastic notion that truth cannot be fully secured through the