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The Transatlantic KindergartenEducation and Women's Movements in Germany and the United States$
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Ann Taylor Allen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190274412

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190274412.001.0001

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Introduction: An Entangled History

Introduction: An Entangled History

(p.1) Introduction: An Entangled History
The Transatlantic Kindergarten

Ann Taylor Allen

Oxford University Press

The kindergarten—a new kind of early childhood education developed by the German philosopher Friedrich Fröbel—was at first rejected in Germany, the land of its birth, but found a much warmer reception when German political exiles brought it to the United States. Although invented by a man, the kindergarten was developed by women, who established one of the earliest and most successful transnational networks. After the kindergarten was reestablished in Germany, an American-German dialogue influenced both the institution itself and the careers of its promoters in both countries. This is an “entangled” history that traces the complex ways in which ideas and people cross national boundaries. The kindergarten offered women opportunities for professional employment, social-reform activism, and intellectual recognition. The story covers three generations of women and ends in 1917 with the rupture of the German-American network during the First World War.

Keywords:   early childhood education, entangled history, kindergarten, women’s professions, Friedrich Fröbel, social reform, transnational networks

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