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Froebel and Nursery Education

International Education Series

10 volumes edited by William T. Harris

Focused on Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), the German philosopher of education most famous for starting the kindergarten movement, the set gathers 10 volumes on the early education of children, including translations of some of Froebel’s most important writings, expositions of Froebel’s philosophy by others, and other notable authors on the development of the young child.

Volume 1 Susan E. Blow
Symbolic Education. A Commentary on Froebel’s "Mother-Play" (1897), 270pp
The book discusses in a practical way the foundations of the philosophy of Froebel as found in his most important work, Mutter und Kose Lieder (The Mother’s Songs and Games). Intended to be as much a book for mothers as for teachers, it shows the significance of the kindergarten and its claims for being the cornerstone upon which all child education should rest.

Volume 2 Henrietta R. Eliot and Susan E. Blow
The Mottoes and Commentaries of Friedrich Froebel’s Mother Play (1895), 338pp
The increased interest in kindergarten work and the demand for a clearer exposition of Froebel’s philosophy made Blow’s two volumes (this and the one below) very popular. This translation of Mutter und Kose Lieder provides a new practical handbook for English-speaking mothers and teachers. Prefaced by a study of Froebel’s philosophy, the volume collects dozens of games and activities for a mother and child, illustrated throughout with the original illustrations from the Wichard Lange German edition.

Volume 3 Susan E. Blow
The Songs and Music of Friedrich Froebel’s Mother Play (Mutter und Kose Lieder) (1895), 286pp
The second volume of Blow’s translation provides poems and pictures, songs and games ‘suitable for children’s ears and voices’. It is illustrated throughout and accompanied by musical notation.

Volume 4 Susan E. Blow
Letters to a Mother on the Philosophy of Froebel (1908), 320pp
The object of this work is to explain the philosophy of Froebel in language accessible to the general reader. The author takes up each of the most important doctrines of Mutter und Kose Lieder and shows their equivalent in other systems of thought, both in agreement with Froebel and in opposition to him. ‘The readers of the discussions in this book will readily concede that the exposition of the results of the theory of the kindergarten, and also the defense of its practice as against systems that conflict with it, are presented with a clearness and force new in the literature of the subject’ – W. T. Harris in the Preface.

Volume 5 Gabriel Compayré, translated by Mary E. Wilson
The Intellectual and Moral Development of the Child (1896), 310pp
The first volume of Compayré’s substantial two-volume study describes the newly born infant, its first forms of activity and the beginnings of the five senses; sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. It also looks at the first emotions, such as fear, love and selfishness, and their expression, memory, imagination and consciousness.

Volume 6 Gabriel Compayré, translated by Mary E. Wilson
Development of the Child in Later Infancy (1902), 332pp
The second half of Wilson’s translation of L’Evolution Intellectuale et Morale de l’Enfant describes the functions that develop into prominence in later infancy, namely: educative instincts, such as imitation and curiosity; judgement and reasoning; learning to talk; activity dependent on the will: walking and playing; development of moral sense; faults and virtues of childhood; mental alienation in childhood; feeling of selfhood and sense of personality. It contains an analytical index to both volumes. Harris describes the work as ‘a substantial aid to the work of the school-room’.

Volume 7 Friedrich Froebel, translated by W. N. Hailmann
The Education of Man (1899), 362pp Hailmann’s highly regarded translation of Froebel’s Die Menschenerziehung (published in 1826, fourteen years before he opened his first kindergarten). The work is divided into two parts: the first deals with general principles and considers the developments during infancy and childhood; the second discusses the chief subjects of instruction, grouping them under (1) religion, (2) natural science and mathematics, (3) language, and (4) art.

Volume 8 Friedrich Froebel, translated by Josephine Jarvis
Friedrich Froebel’s Pedagogics of the Kindergarten or, His Ideas Concerning the Play and Playthings of the Child (1899), 388pp
This is a translation of Die Pädagogik des Kindergartens, fifteen of Froebel’s essays collected by Wichard Lange in 1861. Froebel found an educational value in every phase of the child’s play and in every object that engages its attention. Here he gives a thoroughgoing discussion of the educative effect of objects, such as a ball or cube, upon the development of the kindergarten child, viewing each object from three points of view: as a form of life, as a form of beauty and as a form of knowledge. The work includes diagrams illustrating educational methods of play.

Volume 9 Friedrich Froebel, translated by Josephine Jarvis
Friedrich Froebel’s Education by Development The Second Part of the Pedagogics of the Kindergarten (1903), 374pp The second part of Pedagogics of the Kindergarten presents a more thorough discussion of the educational principles underlying play. In these eleven further essays Froebel discusses his theory of the meaning of the ball, the sphere, the cube, and its various subdivisions, casting new light on his thought with each exposition. Here he also moves on to drawing, paper-folding and stick-laying. W. T. Harris writes that ‘the essays on the training school for kindergartners and the method of introducing children’s gardens into the kindergarten are very suggestive and useful. In fact, there is no other kindergarten literature that is quite equal in value to the contents of this present volume.’

Volume 10 James L. Hughes
Froebel’s Educational Laws for all Teachers (1897), 308pp
In this work Hughes, a schools inspector from Toronto, aims to give a straightforward exposition of the most important principles of Froebel’s educational philosophy and to make suggestions regarding their practical application in teaching and training. With more than twenty years’ experience in studying the kindergartners of America, he argues that the principles upon which the kindergarten processes are based can and should be applied to all levels of education.

This Ten Volume set published by Thoemmes Press is available for you to Order online from

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