Thursday, August 20, 2015

the effect of Kindergarten...

When Friedrich Froebel invented kindergarten he recognized it as a flash of genius that could transform education world wide. And yet, within a short few years, the Prussian government insisted that all kindergartens be closed. The  dictatorial minions recognized kindergartens as subversive and thus prevented kindergarten's expansion into most of Germany. Froebel's nephew (one of Froebel's first students) had become an outspoken proponent of women's rights, and even though Froebel tried to disassociate the kindergarten movement from his nephew's political passion, the new kindergartens did recognize the important role of women as teachers in society. So it was almost completely impossible to completely disassociate Kindergarten from the other important democratic movement of the time.

As hard as Froebel worked to get the Prussian to lift the ban, his efforts were stonewalled, and for good reason. Kindergarten was revolutionary. It's potential was to change the entire fabric of human culture through a new form of education in which children's learning at an earlier age was deemed necessary, and in which mothers would be recognized for their role as teachers and empowered by that role. The ban was finally lifted in 1860, eight years after Froebel's death.

Over the next few days, as I prepare for woodworking classes at the Clear Spring School, I plan to focus on the kindergarten revolution, as it provided a strong rationale for the introduction of manual arts.

Make, fix and create... Teach others to do likewise, and most particularly in schools.

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