Karel Slavoj Amerling

MD. Charles S. Amerling was born in Klatovy and died in Prague.

After studying at high school and the University of Prague, in 1836 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine.

Although after some time he was doing private medical practice, he also dealt with his lifelong interests – efforts to organize the education of Czech teachers to improve education and make it available to everyone.

In 1842 he founded in Prague’s New Town a model school called Budča. His generous, but too expensive project ended in bankruptcy.

In 1848 he became director of the first Czech high school in its capital city – Prague. This school was organizing one-year teacher training courses and it was later renamed as the first teacher training college.

In 1871, he took the lead over Ernestín, a newly established Institute for weak-minded children (in Hradčany), which was the first of its kind in Austria-Hungary. In the context of education of children with disabilities he advocated especially manual work, music therapy, gentle approach and games. Inmates learned different crafts, mainly basket-making and cabinet-making and they produced mainly wooden and cloth toys. With its models from plastic clay, plastic maps and other teaching aids they won admiration abroad.

An important successor of Amerling’s work was MD. Karel Herfort.