SocratesSocrates (479 or 469 – 399 BC)

Greek Athenian philosopher, one of the most considerable figures of the greek as well as the global civilization. He was the son of Sophroniskus and Phenaretis. He was married to Xanthippi at an old age.

Socrates had a number of intimate friends, mainly aristocrats, from all over Greece like Plato and Antisthenis from Athens, Euclides from Megara and Fedon from Hlia. Some of his friends eventually founded philosophical schools. When he was 17 years old, he met with philosopher Archelaus who passed on to him his passion for the philosophy and convinced Socrates to devote his life to it.

His philosophical researches were attended by many youngsters who were delighted to listen to him discussing about politics, ethics, religious and social issues. In this way he was teaching his friends and discussing in various spots of the town with people from all walks of life without creating a philosophical school. While teaching, he explicitly denied to accepting any payment.

In 399 BC he was accused for both not believing in the gods of the state and for corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens. As a result, he was sentenced to death. But the real cause of his accusation was his rivalry with the prominent Athenians. During his trial Socrates showed courage and remained calm and serene, even when the jury announced his verdict condemning him to death. After being sentenced, he stated in prison for 30 days as according to the law, the death penalty could not come into effect before the ‘’Holy Ship’’ which participated to the Delos festival was back to Athens.

From Plato’s dialogue in Crito, we know that Socrates had the opportunity to escape as his followers were able to bride the prison guards but he refused to break the law and finally drunk a mixture containing poison hemlock.

Socrates preferred teaching through a smooth cooperation between the teacher and the student to strict education. According to Socrates, education should be based on virtue and knowledge with the notion of virtue being to be treated in an unfair way rather than treat somebody unfairly.

comenius-portretComenius was a Moravian pedagogue (1562-1670) and protestant priest who fought for a wide spread spiritual civilization, for a tolerant Christian religion and for the establishment of a common European school.

Although it became apparent from the very start that his plans would not be realized, he continued to fight for a European cooperation in the field of education. That is why he is considered to be the pioneer of the modern educational system and the father of the new pedagogy. In his book ‘’The Visible World in Pictures’’ he believes that the tuition should be run in a pleasant way using well known cases. He supports the continuous self-education, the right of both sexes as well as of people with special needs to education.

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