Johann Amos Comenius (1592-1670)
Johann Amos Comenius, or Jan Amos Komensky, was born in March 28th , 1592 in Nivnice (Southeastm?hren/ Czech Republic). His father’s dead was in 1602 and his mother’s in the following year. That’s why he moved to his aunt in Stráznice in 1603 and before he went to the latin school in Prerau in 1608, which was finished in 1611. From 1611 till 1614 he studied at the universities of Herborn and Heidelberg. As teacher and principal, he taught and led his “own” latin school from 1614 till 1618. In 1616 he became priest and did his work from 1618 till 1621 as preacher and teacher in Fulnek. Cause of the Thirty Year War, which began in 1618, he had to change his places from 1621 till 1628, where he stood. A new country decree for M?hren was the reason, why he moved in 1628 to Lissa in Poland, where he stayed until 1641. Comenius was also from 1641 till 1642 in London and the Netherlands. From 1642 till 1648 he worked for Sweden and helped for the education reforms, but when he was elected bishop of the university, in the same year, and when the Thirty Year War was finished, he returned to Lissa in 1648. In the following two periods of ten years the Czech theologian and pedagogical reformer had to move very often. In 1650 he left Lissa to Sárospatak for four years and then came for two years to Lissa back. When Lissa was burned in 1656 he was escaping for 14 years to Amsterdam, where he had a quarrel with another theologian in 1669. Finally he died in Amsterdam in November 15th, 1670. Jan Amos Komensky was buried in Naarden, not far from Amsterdam. He supported the Christian education and the reforms of the school (pictures, not the teach of books), especially in the language instruction. He is best known for his contribution about teaching. A century before the Enlightenment, Johann Amos Comenius was a theologian, philosopher and pedagogue who believed that only through education could man achieve his full potential and lead a truly harmonious life. He was one of the founding fathers of modern education, and also a cosmopolitan and universalist who strove incessantly for human rights, peace between the nations, social peace and the unity of mankind. The choice of the name COMENIUS for this part of the SOCRATES programme is a reminder of Europe's rich educational heritage. (来源：老牌的英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)
Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990)
B. F. Skinner is considered to be the father of operant conditioning and programmed instruction. He was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania and he did not enter college with the intention of becoming a psychologist, majoring instead of English at Hamilton College in New York. Originally Skinner wanted to become a writer, but his father reluctantly agreed. Subsequently he undertook graduate studies at Harvard and began his research on psychology. Skinner studied at Harvard, and later became a professor of psychology at Harvard from 1931-1936 and 1947-1974.
In Skinner’s article The Science of Learning and the Art of Teaching, Skinner described the conditions of the classroom to be adverse to learning. He argued that a single teacher can not individually and appropriately reinforce 30 students simultaneously. In this 1954 article, he conceptualized a teaching machine for use in the classroom by individual students. (Seymour Papert too envisioned a teaching machine, The Children’s Machine).
Skinner stated: “When I am asked what I regard as my most important contribution, I always say, ‘the original experimental analysis of operant behavior and its subsequent extension to more and more complex cases”’ (Learning Theories for Teachers). He truly believed the purpose of psychology to be predicting and controlling the behaviour of individual organisms.
Skinner thought that nearly all human behavior is a product of either biological natural selection or psychological operant reinforcement. Skinner believed that there were 2 kinds of learning: operant and respondent, however he placed greater emphasis on operant which he believed was controlled by consequences. He used animals as research subjects studying the reward technique which he later applied to humans. Skinner is a proponent of operant conditioning, and the inventor of the Skinner box for facilitating experimental observations.
Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, described logical thinking and reasoning about complex situations as the highest form of cognitive development. He grounded his investigations in the individual child's manipulation of and interaction with objects in his or her particular environment. "To present an adequate notion of learning one must first explain how the individual manages to construct and invent, not merely how he repeats and copies."
Jean Piaget's main theory