John Amos Comenius was a Czech philosopher, politician, scientist, teacher, educator, and writer. He was a Czech educational reformer and religious leader, and is remembered mainly for his innovations in methods of teaching, especially of languages. He favored the learning of Latin to facilitate the studies of European culture.
He wrote over 154 books in his lifetime, even after all of his original manuscripts were burned during a rebellion in Holland. He was an amazing and prolific educator, and has been declared “The Father of Modern Education”.
The birthplace of Comenius is not known. There are three possible locations: Komňa, Nivnice, or Uherský Brod in Moravia.
During the Thirty Years War, Comenius led his Protestant brethren into exile in order to escape severe persecution. He lived and worked in many different countries in Europe, including Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Transylvania, the Holy Roman Empire, England, the Netherlands, and Royal Hungary.
In 1628, Comenius left the Czech lands for Lešno (Poland), where he wrote his educational works (“Velká Didaktika”).
He left to Amsterdam where he lived for the next 14 years and where he published “Opera didactica omnia”.
From the persecution and hardships he suffered in his life, Comenius came to develop a philosophy, called “pansophism”, which emphasized political unity, spiritual redemption, religious reconciliation, and cooperation in education. This philosophy of pansophism related education to everyday life and called for systematic harmonizing principles to be developed for all knowledge.
His most famous works include: “The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart” on how the world around him at the time was degrading, “The School of Infancy” focusing on the early years of a child’s education, “Janua Linguarum Reserata” for language studies, “The Way of Light” which was a universal plan of education and peace, “Lux en Tenebris” on prophetic visions for the Unity of the Brethren, “Opera Didactrica” which was a compilation of all his educational works, and “Orbis Pictus” which was the first picture book for children.