Basedow, Johann Bernhard (yōhänˈ bĕrnˈhärt bäˈzədō) [key], 1723–90, German educator, b. Hamburg, educated in Hamburg and at the Univ. of Leipzig. Later he taught in Denmark (1753) and Germany (1761) but became involved in controversies aroused by his unorthodox religious writings. In 1774 his Elementarwerk was published with funds raised by popular subscription, and Basedow opened at Dessau a school called the Philanthropinum, where the methods of elementary education outlined in this text were employed. Drawing upon the writings of Comenius, Locke, and Rousseau, Basedow emphasized realistic teaching and introduced nature study, physical education, and manual training. He resigned in 1778 because of disagreements with his staff, and the school closed in 1793. His reforms were widely influential, however, and similar institutions were established throughout Germany and Switzerland.
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