Teachings Of Educational Philosopher – Friedrich Froebel By: Mani Mehndroo, ACERT, 2012- 13.

Fretdrich Froebel Final

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Page 1: Fretdrich Froebel Final

Teachings Of Educational Philosopher – Friedrich Froebel

By: Mani Mehndroo, ACERT, 2012-13.

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Understanding Froebel's Evolution of Educational Thought

PHASE 1 – Birth , Childhood, Early work life & General interests

PHASE 2 – Teaching & Educational thought

PHASE 3 -Kindergarten, legacy



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Phase 1 – Growing Up



Early working life

• Born on 21st April 1782 in Germany. He was brought up by his father and stepmother, who showed little affection.

• Spent much time in garden playing & exploring his surroundings, leading to deep love & respect for nature . • At the age of 10 went to live with his maternal uncle, who was kinder and sent him to school

• At 15 learnt forestry and geometry and later worked as a forester.• At 17 enrolled at the university at Jena but despite switching courses, found little satisfaction..• In 1804, studies architecture at Frankfurt University• Later studied mineralogy and gemmology.

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Froebel’s Philosophy of Life• Deeply spiritual man – seeing God’s hand at work everywhere in universe

• Saw patterns in nature and believed that it was possible for human beings to experience, emulate and build on these designs.

• Children could experience these patterns in kindergarten..

“If man is to attain his destiny, so far as earthly development will permit this, if he is to become truly an unbroken living unit, he must feel and know himself to be one, not only with God and humanity but also with nature”.

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Phase 2 – Finding His Calling

Beginning to teach

Developing &

Publishing Ideas

• In 1805 joined a school in Frankfurt, based on Pestalozzi’s teaching, as an educator.• In 1808 studied for 2 years at a training institute run by Pestalozzi.  Though he found the approach inspiring but thought the concept of, “Spiritual Mechanism”, was missing. • Vowed to create his own type of school.

• 1811 -14 pursued other activities, such as studies and serving for the Prussian army against Napoleon – but he kept returning to his dream.• In 1816 founded “Universal German Education Institute “, for training teachers. • In 1821, publication of "Principles, Aims and Inner Life of the Universal German Educational Institute"• In 1826 he published his first book, ‘The Education of Man’, a philosophical work reflecting his ideas about God, man and nature.• In 1831, was invited to Switzerland to open schools and stays for five years

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“Every child possessed, at birth, his full educational potential, and that an appropriate educational environment was necessary to encourage the child to grow and develop in an optimal manner”.

“Learning begins when consciousness erupts, education must also”.

He believed that women should take a leading role in educating small children and therefore opened an institute for training them for ECE.

“Cultural Imposition Theory” – Children should be trained to become productive members of the larger society so that the cultural heritage can be preserved from generation to generation.

Children under 7 did not attend school

Women were not expected (or often allowed) to work professionally

His Belief’s Prevalent norms

Froebel's philosophy of education rested on four basic ideas: free self-activity, creativity, social participation, and motor expression

Froebel’s Philosophy of Education

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Froebel’s Philosophy of EducationPillars of ECE Definition Objective Tools Environment

Free Self-Activity Development of qualities and skills that make it possible to take an invisible idea and make it a reality

Externalizing child's inner nature

Play Kindergarten

Creativity Being creative Internalizing various concept & for externalizing the concept existing within their creative minds

Gifts & Occupation


Social Participation Harmonious social interaction skills

Provide children with opportunities for interacting socially within familiar territory in a non-threatening manner

Providing a family setting within school environment.


Motor Expression Learning by doing as opposed to following rote instructions.

To make sense out of both his subjective & objective world

Trained educator


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Phase 3 –The Kindergarten Movement

Kindergarten set up

Gifts &


Death , Legacy &Influence

• In 1837 the 1st “Play and Activity Institute” was founded by him. • In 1840 he officially coined the term “Kindergarten”.• In 1843 published “Mutter and Koselieder”, series of songs for mothers• In 1847 seven Kindergartens established in Germany. • In 1948 further forty four Kindergartens opened throughout Germany.• In 1849 begins training of kindergarten teachers.

• In1851 Kindergartens were banned in Prussia for political reasons.• On 21st June,1852 Friedrich Froebel died, dispirited by the ban.• Spread of his philosophy & its impact on ECE at large.• Influence on role of women in education & the toys market.

• Froebel designed a series of instructional materials that he called "gifts and occupations“.

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Froebel’s Kindergarten

Meant“Garden of children”- The layout was not limited to class rooms but essentially also included a strip of land, “interactive gardens”.

A transitional stage from home to school (Age group 3-7 years)

Knowledgeable and appropriately qualified early childhood professionals.

Parents and educator working in harmony and partnership.

Involved skilled and informed observation of children, to support effective development, learning and teaching.

A holistic view on each child’s development by laying emphasis on free self-activity, creativity, social interaction & motor expression through play, educational material (gifts/occupation),  games, dance, songs, stories, crafts and interaction with nature, peers, community .

“ Children are like tiny flowers; they are varied and need care, but each is beautiful alone and glorious when seen in the community of peers."

The Basic Construct

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Froebel’s Kindergarten Tools

Froebel's significant contributions to early childhood education was his theory of introducing “Play” as a means of engaging children in free self-activity for the purpose of externalizing their inner natures.

‘Play’ enlists all of child's imaginative powers, thoughts, and physical movements and includes activities such as songs, stories, games, group activities and use of educational material.

Starts at each stage starting from simplest activity progressing towards the most diverse and complex form.

Supreme goal is realization of child’s budding powers and continually carries him from one plane of educational growth to another.

“ Play is the highest expression of human development of childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in the child’s soul ”.

Theory of ‘Play’

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He designed a series of educational materials, to provide children with many stimulating activities to enhance their creativity.

A ‘gift’ was an object provided for a child to play with--such as a sphere, cube, or cylinder- which helped the child to understand and internalize the concepts of shape, dimension, size, and their relationships. He developed 20 set of gifts.

The ‘occupations’ were items such as paints and clay which the children could use to make what they wished; through the occupations, children externalized the concepts existing within their creative minds.

‘Gifts and occupations’ enable the child in understanding inner and outer properties of things as he moves through the developmental stages of the educational process.

‘I wish to find the right forms for awakening the higher senses of the child: what symbol does my ball offer to him? That of unity.’ “The ball connects the child with nature as much as the universe connects man with God”.

‘Gifts and Occupations’

Froebel’s Kindergarten Tools

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Froebel believed that parents provided the first as well as the most consistent educational influence in a child’s life.

Since a child’s first educational experiences occur within the family unit, he is already familiar with the home environment as well as with the occupations carried on within this setting and tries to imitate them.

Froebel believed that providing a family setting within the school environment would promote social interaction within familiar territory in a non-threatening manner.

Focusing on the home environment occupations as the foundation for beginning subject-matter content allowed the child to develop social interaction skills that would prepare him for higher level subject-matter content in later educational developmental stages.

“ The union of Family and School life is the indispensable requisite of education ”.

‘Family Setting’

Froebel’s Kindergarten Tools

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Froebel believed that the child should learn by doing as opposed to following rote instructions (motor expression) and allowed to grow at his own pace.

Responsible educators should strive to recognize each child's individual level of development so that essential materials and activities, to stimulate appropriate educational growth, can be provided.

Required skilled and informed observation of children, to support effective development, learning and teaching.

“The destiny of nations lie far more in the hands of women, the mothers than in the possessors of power or those of innovators who for the most part do not understand themselves. We must cultivate women, who are the educators of the human race, else the new generation cannot accomplish its tasks”.

“ The Purpose of teaching is to bring more out of a man than to put more in him”.

‘Role of an Educator’

Froebel’s Kindergarten Tools

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An Environment which...

Is physically safe but intellectually challenging, promoting curiosity, enquiry, sensory stimulation and aesthetic awareness.

Demonstrates the unity of indoors and outdoors, of the cultural and the natural. Allows free access to a rich range of materials that promote open-ended opportunities for play, representation and creativity.

Entails the setting being an integral part of the community it serves, working in close partnership with parents and other skilled adults.

Is educative rather than merely amusing or occupying. Promotes interdependence as well as independence, community as well as individuality and responsibility as well as freedom

"Let us educate the senses, train the faculty of speech, the art of receiving, storing, and expressing impressions, which is the natural gift of infants, and we shall not need books to fill up the emptiness of our teaching until the child is at least seven years old."

Froebel’s Kindergarten

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Froebel’s Death, Legacy, Influence• Kindergarten were banned in Prussia

in 1851. They were very radical in their time and the Prussian Govt. linked them to the more fiery socialist views of his cousin.

• Froebel died in 1852, probably heart-broken by the apparent failure of his life’s work.

• However his ideas had travelled far and wide and his philosophies spread to Europe, USA and Britain and to the entire world where they have survived to this day.

• Influence of Froebel’s Philosophy on:

- ECE at large. - Role of women in education & - Toy market.

“If three hundred years after my death my method of education shall be completely established according to its idea, I shall rejoice in heaven."

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