When you think of “kindergarten” do you think of it as a garden of children? In 1837 German educator Friedrich Froebel developed and tested new educational methods and philosophies based on the structure, activity, and learning of young children. In 1840 he founded a Play and Activity Institute which he later named Kindergarten reflecting his belief that young children should be nurtured and nourished “Like plants in a garden”. In Froebel’s findings, he claimed that Kindergarten has 3 essential parts;
1) Creative play, which he called gifts and occupations
2) Singing and dancing for healthy activity, and
3) Observing and nurturing plants in a garden for stimulating awareness of the natural world.
Frobel’s garden for children is the landmark of where the word kindergarten originated. Frobel believed that children learn best through play and felt that children should be children. The importance of play, interactive and personalized learning, the importance of all things natural, nurturing a child’s creative talents, and allowing children to take risks are all part of the rich and warming learning experience that is a Froebelian nursery. (Bruce, 2012)
To prepare for this Journal, watch the two videos below. Then write a reflection based on some of these guiding questions
Looking at today’s kindergarten classroom, do you see any similarities to the days of Froebel’s kindergarten? What might a difference be?
Do you think if Froebel, the “Father of Kindergarten”, were alive, he would be disappointed or happy about how children learn today?
How was your own personal experience with play and learning when you were young? Did you go to kindergarten? And what are your thoughts on the play as a way of growth and development?