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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET John Amos Comenius | 25 helped nourish Comenius’s still-emerging sense of self as an enlightened educa- tor. Although Comenius did not pursue them immediately, Ratke’s ideas became embedded in his psyche. Ratke argued that there is a natural sequence in the devel- opment of the human mind and in the acquisition of knowledge. He contended that this sequence should be followed in designing a course of instruction. Among other innovations, Ratke also insisted that children first be taught in their native tongue. These ideas, among others Ratke advocated, eventually became part of Comenius’s own educational philosophy. Yet at that point in his life, Comenius still thought of himself as having a life in the ministry and went on to the University of Heidelberg, where he matriculated in philosophy and theology. However, he had to drop out after a few months due to lack of funds. Comenius traveled to Prague on foot. Because he was still too young to enter the ministry, he took a job as a teacher in a brotherhood-run elementary school in Prerau, a town in the Olomouc region of what is now the Czech Republic. In that role, he was able to introduce some of the educational ideas he had acquired at Herborn. He was most concerned with the way Latin was taught and wanted to create a text that would make it much easier for children to learn that language. In 1616 Comenius was ordained and became the minister of a church in Ful- neck, a town in the Silesian region of what is now the Czech Republic. Comenius continued his elementary school teaching while still performing his ministerial duties. In fact, he was so admired for his teaching that he was chosen as the super- intendent of education in the town. Even after assuming his new role as superintendent, he did not give up his min- istry and continued to meet both the spiritual and educational needs of the com- munity. The three years he spent in Fulneck were perhaps the happiest and most conflict-free years of his life. During this period, he married and had two children. But these tranquil years were ended with the outbreak of the religiously inspired Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648). To the Catholic Spaniards, the Moravian Brother- hood was an apostate group. In 1620 the Spaniards invaded Fulneck, pillaging and burning the town. Comenius’s home, his library, and his unpublished educational manuscripts on which he had labored for years were lost. Fleeing Fulneck, Comenius was given refuge by Count Karl von Zerotin on his Bohemian estate. The trials of being an exile were compounded by the deaths of his wife and children due to disease. But the persecution of the Moravian Brotherhood continued, and an edict in 1627 ended the protection of the brotherhood by the COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL