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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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Pestalozzi, Fröbel, and the Origins of the Kindergarten

Pestalozzi, Fröbel, and the Origins of the Kindergarten

(p.10) 1 Pestalozzi, Fröbel, and the Origins of the Kindergarten
The Transatlantic Kindergarten

Ann Taylor Allen

Oxford University Press

Educators in both Germany and the United States responded to the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era by developing new pedagogical techniques to teach the virtues of citizenship. These techniques arose from a new view of children as active and creative beings and education as the product of natural curiosity and energy. Claiming that early childhood was an important stage in human development, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and Friedrich Fröbel encouraged mothers to become the teachers of their children. Around 1840 Fröbel created an institutional setting for this pedagogy, called a Kindergarten (or “garden of children”). In the kindergarten, children played with toys specially designed to teach cognitive skills. Group activities encouraged cooperation and social responsibility. Fröbel claimed that women were natural teachers of young children and therefore uniquely qualified to teach kindergarten—a new and controversial view in an era when most teachers, even of young children, were men.

Keywords:   Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Friedrich Fröbel, kindergarten, early childhood education, pedagogy

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