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influence of Friedrich Froebel

The philosophy of education

of Friedrich Froebel, 1782-1852 stresses the respect with which the individuality and ability of each child should be treated; the importance of creating a happy, harmonious environment in which he or she can grow; and the value of self-activity and play as a foundation on which the integrated development of the whole person can be built.

Friedrich Froebel was a German eductionalist. He was known best for the founding of kindergarten. Froebel was born in 1782 in the village of Oberwebach in Thuringia, Germany. His childhood was difficult because his mother died when he was a baby and his father abandoned him. Froebel was given to his uncles care, who had a son that died at the age of ten. Froebel never showed much interest in school except for the field of mathmatics. Despite his many hardships, he had a strong christian faith and a love for nature. This is what was said to be central to his thinking as an educationalist. After several attempts of trying to attend the University, he was finally allowed. This is when he got into debt from tuition payments and was thrown in prison.

After Froebel's college years, he got a job in the forestry department at Bamberg. After this, he got a teaching job at Frankfort. His strong christian faith led him to the field of education. Froebel later married a woman who shared his beliefs and values. She died in 1836 and he remarried in 1851. Two months after Froebel's 70th birthday, he died.

Froebel first came into teaching through a school run along Pestalozzian lines. He believed that humans are essentially productive and creative, and that fulfillment comes through developing these in harmony with God and the world. His vision was to stimulate an appreciation and love for children, to provide a new but small world for children to play with their age group and experience their first gentle taste of independence. His kindergarten system consisted of games and songs, construction, and gifts and occupations. The play materials were what he called gifts and the activities were occupations. His system allowed children to compare, test, and explore. His philosophy also consisted of four basic components which were free self-activity, creativity, social participation, and motor expression. Froebel's kindergarten system grew internationally as an educational movement. It is a well established part of the American school system as well as many other parts of the world.

This document was written by Jessica Barr, who comments:
Friedrich Froebel was fun to research because I want to teach in grades k-2. I love small children but they are a lot of responsibility so I agree with and respect Froebel's beliefs. I believe that small children learn better with hands on activities and need to explore their creative abilities.

Inventing Kindergarten

Inventing Kindergarten uses extraordinary visual materials to reconstruct this successful system, to teach young children about art, design, mathematics, and nature.

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