Sunday, March 28, 2021

Happy Birthday John Amos Comenius

If John Amos Comenius were alive today he would be 429. Born just one hundred years after Columbus landed in the "new world," Comenius became the "founder of modern pedagogy."Pedagogy is the study of how we learn, and is based, as is all science, on observation, reflection, and comparison with the observations made by others until a consensus of understanding and practice is achieved. Interestingly, 

Comenius' observations are still valid to this day, for while times change, how we learn has not.

Comenius proposed that the senses form the foundation of learning: 
"The ground of this business is, that sensual (sensuous) objects be rightly presented to the senses for fear that they not be received. I say, and say it again aloud, that this is the foundation of all the rest; because we can neither act nor speak wisely, unless we first rightly understand all the things which are to be done and whereof we have to speak. Now there is nothing in the understanding which was not before in the senses. And therefore to exercise the senses well about the right perceiving of the differences of things will be to lay the grounds for wisdom and all wise discourse, and all discreet actions in one's course of life, which, because it is commonly neglected in schools, and the things that are to be learned are offered to scholars without their being understood or being rightly presented to the senses, it cometh to pass that the work of teaching and learning goeth heavily onward and offereth little benefit."

And so how do we engage student senses? Lead them out into the real world to do real things. Plan learning so that it complies with the theory of educational sloyd. Move from the known to the unknown, from the easy to the more difficult, from the simple to the complex, from the concrete to the abstract, and remaining attentive to the interests of the learner. It's as simple as that.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise. 

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