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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET John Amos Comenius | 35 Common Themes The Nature of the Child For Comenius, the child has the predispositions for learning, but how those dispo- sitions are realized is dependent on education. The seeds of knowledge, of virtue, and of piety are, as we have seen, naturally implanted in us; but the actual knowledge, virtue, and piety are not so given. These must be acquired by prayer, by education, and by action. He gave no bad definition who said that man was a “teachable animal.” And indeed it is only by a proper education that he can become a man. (Comenius in Keatinge 1910, 204) The Aims of Education That the education given shall be not false but real, not superficial but thorough; That is to say, that the rational animal, man, shall be guided not by the intellects of other men, but by his own; shall not merely read the opinions of others and grasp their meaning or commit them to memory and repeat them, but shall himself penetrate to the root of things and acquire the habit of genuinely understanding and making use of what he learns. (Comenius in Keatinge 1910, 234) The Role of Play Comenius viewed play as a means of learning. In such social plays with their companions there is neither the assumption of authority nor the dread of fear, but the free intercourse which calls forth all their powers of invention, sharpens their wits, and cultivates their manners and habits. (Monroe 1900, 117) Conformance with DAP Principles Comenius anticipated many of the principles set forth by NAEYC as fundamental to developmentally appropriate practices, including these two examples: NAEYC Development and learning proceed at varying rates from child to child, as well as at uneven rates across different areas of a child’s individual functioning. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL