The New International Encyclopædia/Ratichius, Wolfgang
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RATICHIUS, rắ-tīk'ĭ-ŭs (Ger. Ratke, or Ratich), Wolfgang (1571-1635). A celebrated educational reformer, born at Wilster, in Holstein, and educated at the Hamburg Johanneum and the University of Rostock. While sojourning in Holland (1603-11) he devised a new method for teaching languages quickly. He tried to enlist the Prince of Orange in his cause, but failing, he betook himself to Germany. At Amsterdam, Basel, Strassburg, Frankfort, Weimar, Augsburg, Köthen, and various other places he put into operation his method of instruction. His executive ability, however, was not commensurate with the scope of his ideas, and he consequently failed in all his undertakings. His personality, moreover, alienated both assistants and patrons. He advocated, above all, the use of the vernacular as the proper means for approaching all subjects, and demanded the establishment of a vernacular school on the basis of the Latin school. His fundamental idea of method was that nature should be followed, meaning by that that there is a natural sequence along which the mind moves in the acquisition of knowledge, through particulars to the general, thus for the first time applying the Baconian theory of induction in education. Consult: Barnard, German Teachers and Educators (Hartford, 1878); Quick, Educational Reformers (New York, 1890). See Education; Pedagogy.