From the Archives: The School of Infancy
Written in 1631, The School of Infancy, was one of Comernus’s first works on education and concentrates on the first six years of a childs life and education “at the mother’s knee.”
We present below his preface and opening observations which offer an insight into Comenius’s attitude toward children, parenting, and the family. Readers may find the whole work published by the University of North Carolina Press at Chapel Hill in 1956 from which the excerpt is taken and used by permission.
To Godly Christian Parents, Teachers,
Guardians and all who are charged with
the care of Children
Since it is my purpose to speak to you all about your duty, it is necessary for me to show three things:
I. The preciousness of the treasures that God bestows on those to whom He entrusts children.
II. That He has an end and purpose to which He confers them, and a goal to which their education ought to be directed.
III. That youth demand good education so greatly that if they fail to get it they are of necessity lost.
Having established these three principals, I shall proceed to my purpose and explain in order the areas of your cares in this early age of your charges…Under Thy direction, O Father! by whom every generation in heaven and on earth is ordained.
Jan Amos Comenius
Children, God’s Most Precious Gift,
and an Inestimable Treasure,
Claim Our Most Vigilant Attention
That children are a priceless treasure God testifies, saying: “Lo, children are the heritage of the Lord: the fruit of the womb His reward; as arrows in the hand, so are children…”
Also, when God speaks of His love towards us, he calls us children as if there were no more excellent name by which to allure us…
The Son of God when manifested ...