Thursday, December 26, 2013

From Kindergarten to Educational Sloyd...

Herbert Courthope Bowen(1848-1909) described the movement from Froebel's Kindergarten to the development of Educational Sloyd manual training in his book, Froebel and Education by Self-Activity, taken in part from a Froebel letter to the the Duke of Meiningen, in 1829:
"The training and instruction were to rest on the foundation from which proceed all genuine knowledge and all genuine practical attainments; that is, 'on life itself and on creative effort, and on the union and interdependence of doing and thinking, representing and perceiving, skill and science.' It will base its work on 'the pupil's self-activity and self-expression,' and make these the bases of knowledge and culture. The morning is to be devoted to the ordinary school subjects; the afternoon to various kinds of manual work. I cannot attempt to give the long and full list of occupations here; suffice it is to say that it covers, and more than covers, the ground now usually marked out by institutions of this kind. Froebel's hopes were disappointed. He never had the chance of carrying out this plan. But the description remained, and with his other tracts and articles, gained the attention of educational thinkers in more than one place.

Amongst others it attracted Uno Cygnaeus, the 'Father of the Primary School in Finland.' In 1866 Cygnaeus introduced sloyd as a compulsory part of education into the schools of his country. The success of the movement in Finland stimulated Sweden, Denmark, and Austria-Hungary to like efforts. From Sweden, where it was greatly improved by Herr Salomon, the system has passed over to England. And indeed in a measure all Europe now recognizes it, the spread of kinder garten ideas having prepared the way for it in more than one country. I cannot do better than quote an extract from a letter written by Cygnaeus to Dr. Wichard Lange which tells how he came to adopt the system. 'The idea of the introduction of hand-work [sloyd],' he says, 'came to me from the study of the writings of Pestalozzi and Froebel: I have, therefore, derived it from Germany."
Today I am back to writing and editing, but hope to spend at least a bit of time in the wood shop.

 Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment