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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET John Amos Comenius | 31 He believed that his educational precepts were grounded in the way nature operates and that education would be easy and enjoyable: 1. if it is begun before the mind is corrupted. 2 . if the mind is prepared to receive it. 3. if we proceed from the general to the particular, from what is easy to what is more complex. 4. if the pupils are not overburdened with too many different studies. 5. if the instruction is graded to the stages of the mental development of the learners. 6. if the interests of the children are consulted and their intellects are not forced along lines for which they have no natural bent. 7. if everything is taught through the medium of the senses. 8. if the utility of instruction is emphasized. 9. if everything is taught by one and the same method. (Monroe 1900, 91) Comenius was as attentive to method as he was to the child being taught. In The Great Didactic, he laid out in detail methods for how to teach the sciences, the arts, language, morals, and religion. For each discipline he outlined specific steps that had to be taken to master the subject matter. With respect to language, for example, he argued that language instruction should be first tied up with the study of objects, and it should reflect the interests and comprehension of the children. He writes, “They waste their time who place before children Cicero and the other great writers; for, if students do not understand the subject-matter, how can they master the various devices for expressing it forcibly?” (Monroe 1900, 100). In reading The Great Didactic, one cannot help but be impressed, indeed over- whelmed, by Comenius’s foresight. Although he lived at the very beginning of the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Age of Reason, many of his ideas are remark- ably contemporary. As illustrated above, he paid equal attention to the developing child, the method of instruction, and the nature of subject matter being taught. The later Giants further elaborated and articulated these ideas that are today con- ceptualized as DAP. Even today we see these three essential components only in quality early childhood education programs and in some private schools for older children and youth. We can turn now to some of the more practical contributions of Comenius’s work. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL