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John Comenius

John Comenius ( or Jan Komensky, 1592-1670) was a Czech educational reformer and religious leader. He was born in Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic), and educated at the University of Heidelberg. In 1638 he was invited by Sweden to assist in educational reforms.

In the mid 17th century, John Comenius created a new educational philosophy called Pansophism, or universal knowledge, designed to bring about worldwide understanding and peace. He advised teachers to use children's' senses rather than memorization in instruction. To make learning interesting for children, he wrote The Gate of Tongues Unlocked (1631), a book for teaching Latin in the student's own language. He also wrote Orbis Sensualium Pictus (1658; The Visible World in Pictures, 1659) consisting of illustrations that labeled objects in both their Latin and vernacular names. It was one of the first illustrated books written especially for children.

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