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The Historical Network in Scientific Discovery. V ítězslav Orel, DrSc, Emeritus Head of the Mendel Museum , Brno, Czech Republic Margaret He ř mánek Peaslee, PhD, Professor Emerita of Biology, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Progress Does Not Occur in a Vacuum.

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the historical network in scientific discovery

The Historical Network in Scientific Discovery

Vítězslav Orel, DrSc, Emeritus Head of the Mendel Museum,

Brno, Czech Republic

Margaret Heřmánek Peaslee, PhD, Professor Emerita of Biology,

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

progress does not occur in a vacuum
Progress Does Not Occur in a Vacuum
  • Sharing of information is essential in all fields of endeavor.
  • Communication is essential among educators.
  • Scientists learn from each other.
focus of this presentation
Focus of this Presentation
  • Comenius, the pedagogue, whose innovations were adopted by . . .
  • Priestley, the revolutionary, who introduced experimentation into the curriculum influencing the teaching program provided to . . .
  • Mendel, the geneticist, who recognized the significance of mathematics in heredity.
jan amos komensk 1592 1670
Jan Amos Komenský (1592 – 1670)

Attained an international reputation as a reformer of

  • Theology
  • Pedagogy
  • Education
jan amos komensk
Jan Amos Komenský
  • Born March 28, 1592 in Moravia.
  • Raised in the Protestant tradition: the Unity of Brethren.
  • Received his education and was steered toward the priesthood.
  • Educated under the principle that every theory has to be didactic
jan amos komensk as teacher
Jan Amos Komenský as Teacher
  • Administrator of school of the Moravian Brethren in Fulnek, 1618-1620.
  • Developed his own philosophy of education.
  • Recommended that the natural sciences be included in a program of general education.
jan amos komensk as writer
Jan Amos Komenský as Writer
  • Compiled the first Czech encyclopedia, a thesaurus, grammar texts and others.
  • Wrote Protection against the Anti-Christ and his Trials – calling for a struggle against the papacy.
  • Author of additional works supporting the Czech Protestant movement.
  • Took Latinized name of Comenius.
thirty years war bohemian revolt
Thirty Years’ War: Bohemian Revolt
  • Began in 1618, the year Comenius moved to Fulnek.
  • The war was a religious and political conflict.
  • Resulted in the tragic subjugation of Comenius’ country.
battle of b l hora november 8 1620
Battle of Bílá Hora: November 8, 1620
  • Marked the end of the Protestant dream of religious freedom for the Czechs.
  • Comenius’ writing had made him a marked man.
  • He went into hiding; then lost his wife and sons to the plague.
the labyrinth of the world and the paradise of the heart
The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart
  • Written by Comenius after the loss of his freedom and his family.
  • Illustrates Comenius’ desire for organization and categorization.
the labyrinth of the world and the paradise of the heart1
The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart
  • Begins as an extremely critical view of the world, human relations, and human behavior.
  • Suggested mapping and understanding of knowledge were crucial in putting together pieces of life’s puzzle into a harmonious and ultimately perfect unity.
  • Salvation is to be found in the soul.
comenius in exile
Comenius in Exile
  • Fled to Poland, England, Sweden, and, finally, the Netherlands.
  • Never able to return to his homeland.
  • In spite of many hardships he continued writing.
  • Pansophiae prodromus described his views on learning.
comenius in exile1
Comenius in Exile

(as depicted by Alfons Mucha in his Slav Epic)

comenius pansophia
Comenius’ Pansophia
  • Endorsed universal knowledge for all people, including women and children, and all nations.
  • Endeavored to bring together all knowledge into one consistent scheme.
  • Worked for educational, scientific, and cultural cooperation, enlightenment, and understanding.
comenius the father of modern education
Comenius – the Father of Modern Education
  • Believed children were gifts from God.
  • Curricula should move from the simple to more complex.
  • Demonstration and direct observation leads to better understanding.
  • Maps, charts, and visual aids are significant teaching tools.
j a comenius
J. A. Comenius
  • A seated sculpture by Igor Kitzberger.
  • Produced in 1992 for the 400th anniversary of Comenius’ birth.
  • Housed in the museum at Přerov.
samuel hartlib 1600 1662
Samuel Hartlib (1600 – 1662)
  • Not a literary figure himself.
  • Aim in life was to further knowledge.
  • Played key role in dissemination of other writers’ works.
  • Supported Comenius’ work and helped secure his reputation as one of the most innovative and influential educational theorists.
samuel hartlib promoter of comenius
Samuel Hartlib, Promoter of Comenius
  • In 1641 he arranged for Comenius’ invitation to England to participate in the modernization of the educational system.
  • When leaving for the Netherlands, Comenius left behind his Via Lucis, a universal plan of education and peace.
joseph priestley 1733 1804
Joseph Priestley (1733 – 1804)
  • Theologian
  • Educator
  • Chemist
  • Reformer
joseph priestley dissenter
Joseph Priestley: Dissenter
  • Born into a Calvinist family; lost his mother early in his childhood.
  • Raised by his aunt, a staunch Calvinist, who enjoyed entertaining intellectuals even when their theological opinions differed from her own.
  • As a dissenter he could not attend any of the leading universities (Oxford or Cambridge).
joseph priestley s education
Joseph Priestley’s Education
  • In 1752 began studying at Daventry Academy, one of the best of the so-called dissenting academies.
  • Completed his studies for the ministry.
  • Cultivated his hobby of scientific experimentation.
joseph priestley as educator
Joseph Priestley as Educator
  • As a minister in Nantwich, he opened a school for both boys and girls; emphasized English, mathematics, and history.
  • Pupils gave short lectures and demonstrated experiments to parents and friends.
  • Developed the use of charts and visual aids to facilitate pupils’ understanding.
joseph priestley at warrington academy
Joseph Priestley at Warrington Academy
  • With colleagues he practiced a non-authoritarian form of education.
  • Children were encouraged to acquire knowledge from direct and open-minded observation of nature.
  • Experimentation in the natural sciences carried out by students.
joseph priestley as scientist and writer
Joseph Priestley as Scientist and Writer
  • Credited with discovery of carbon dioxide (and making carbonated water), oxygen, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, and others.
  • Published much work in the fields of education, natural science, theology, and government.
joseph priestley as an american
Joseph Priestley as an American
  • His essays on political, civil and religious liberty brought him much attention.
  • Emigrated to American after a violent mob burned his home in Birmingham.
  • Continued his writing and experimentation in his home at Northumberland, Pennsylvania.
countess walpurga truchsess zeil
Countess Walpurga Truchsess-Zeil
  • Founded a private Philantropinum Institute at her seat at Kunin, not far from Fulnek.
  • Inspiration to create the institute came from philantropism, a method of education developed by protagonists of the English dissenting academies.
kunin institute
Kunin Institute
  • Children were encouraged to acquire knowledge from direct and open-minded observation of nature.
  • Children’s bodies as well as their minds were exercised.
  • Johann Schreiber was the Institute’s administrator.
johann schreiber 1769 1850
Johann Schreiber (1769 – 1850)
  • He was recommended to other teachers in the province as an exemplary pedagogue.
  • Forced to leave the school when it was accused of “spreading alien notions” through its teaching of the natural sciences.
  • Became the priest in the parish of Mendel’s birthplace.
johann gregor mendel 1822 1884
Johann Gregor Mendel (1822 – 1884)
  • Educated under the influence of Schreiber.
  • Along with teaching religion, Schreiber included the useful knowledge of natural history.
  • Mendel may well have been inspired here toward his study in the natural sciences.
mendel as student at gymnasium
Mendel as Student at Gymnasium
  • Wrote a poem expressing his conviction that scientific knowledge would rid mankind of superstitions.
  • His poem also reflected the ideals of Enlightenment and Philantropism.
mendel in the augustinian monastery
Mendel in the Augustinian Monastery
  • Entered a scholarly environment.
  • Was encouraged to pursue higher education in the natural sciences.
  • Allowed to pursue his interest in experimental design.
mendel as scientist
Mendel as Scientist
  • Studied the natural sciences at the University of Vienna.
  • Learned experimental and quantitative methods from leading educators.
  • Can be called “ the first geneticist.”
garden pea pisum sativum
Garden Pea, Pisum sativum

Mendel used an experimental approach with the garden pea plant

a page from mendel s 1866 paper experiments into plant hybridization
A Page from Mendel’s 1866 Paper, ‘Experiments into Plant Hybridization’
  • Describes his experiments with vocabulary unfamiliar to his audience
    • Statistical analysis
    • Probability
    • Prediction
mendel as scientist1
Mendel as Scientist
  • Introduced mathematics and statistics into his studies of the determinants of the transmission of parental traits to offspring.
  • Used the term “factors” for what we now call “genes.”
mendel s relationship to comenius
Mendel’s Relationship to Comenius
  • Was educated in environments that would have pleased Comenius.
  • Evidence that Mendel was familiar with Comenius’ writing:
    • He and J. Tvrdý, a botanist, bred a new variety of fuchsia and named it Orbis pictus.
comenius recommendation to members of the london royal society
Comenius’ Recommendation to Members of the London Royal Society:

“Let your researches into Natural objects be so well established, let them bear upon their face so complete an assurance of trustworthiness, that if a man desires not merely to contemplate your work as long as he likes with his unaided eyes, but even to try its accuracy by the most exacting tests of his own device, he shall be certain to find that the facts are precisely what you have shown them to be.”

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