Title

Froebel, Peabody, and the Roots of American Kindergarten Philosophy

Presenter Information

Amy Erickson

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 202

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

This paper describes the lives and philosophies of the two most important Kindergarten pioneers, German educator Friedrich Froebel, who invented the Kindergarten method, and Elizabeth Peabody, who is responsible for establishing the Kindergarten as an American institution. By investigating their lives and influences I argue that nineteenth-century American Kindergarten was successful because it was able to reflect American cultural beliefs while maintaining allegiance to the German pedagogy. When Friedrich Froebel invented the Kindergarten in 1840 in Germany, he stressed children’s unique ability to learn and develop. The basis of the Froebelian Kindergarten rested in the philosophical perfection of the human spirit. Nurturing the child’s natural instincts would allow for the development of a deeper level of understanding and thus a greater level of human perfection. Elizabeth Peabody embraced Froebel's method but modified it to suit American households of all social classes.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Karen Blair

Additional Mentoring Department

History

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May 17th, 4:10 PM May 17th, 4:30 PM

Froebel, Peabody, and the Roots of American Kindergarten Philosophy

SURC 202

This paper describes the lives and philosophies of the two most important Kindergarten pioneers, German educator Friedrich Froebel, who invented the Kindergarten method, and Elizabeth Peabody, who is responsible for establishing the Kindergarten as an American institution. By investigating their lives and influences I argue that nineteenth-century American Kindergarten was successful because it was able to reflect American cultural beliefs while maintaining allegiance to the German pedagogy. When Friedrich Froebel invented the Kindergarten in 1840 in Germany, he stressed children’s unique ability to learn and develop. The basis of the Froebelian Kindergarten rested in the philosophical perfection of the human spirit. Nurturing the child’s natural instincts would allow for the development of a deeper level of understanding and thus a greater level of human perfection. Elizabeth Peabody embraced Froebel's method but modified it to suit American households of all social classes.