Saturday, May 03, 2014

Mothers meetings...

 "Come let us live with our children."
Kindergarten as it was introduced to the world and to the North American continent during the late 1880's was far more than what could become the "new first grade", and it is shame that the name Kindergarten is so misapplied, as kindergartens are often devoid of much of Froebel's original thought.  The name "grade zero" might better fit what policy makers have in mind or the whole sequence of grades could be renumbered from one to the lucky number 13 when kids graduate and get to do things in the real world (or delay their stay in academia for a few more years).

Friedrich Froebel had recognized the potential of young mothers being empowered in a more formal sense as their child's first teachers. Those who really understood Kindergarten, knew also the importance of organizing young mothers to fulfill their rightful role. Mothers meetings were an important part of the kindergarten movement, and the photos in this post are from the the Kansas Historical Foundation at the end of the 19th century.

The greatest potential for educational reform in the US will likely have little to do with what comes out of the Department of Education in Washington, DC, but will instead come if young mothers seize their rightful role.

The Central Congregational Church in Topeka, Kansas, founded the first black kindergarten west of the Mississippi River and the young mothers of that Kindergarten are shown above. Note the Froebel quote carved in the stone arch of the Central Congregational Church.

Make, fix and create...

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