National Kindergarten Day is April 21
Kindergarten is a mid-19th-century German word that means "children’s garden." German educator Friedrich Fröbel laid the foundation for modern education in 1837. He discovered that children learn through play and experience. To honor the importance of early learning and education, we celebrate his birthday on April 21st. As early childhood educators, we understand the importance of learning through play all because of Friedrich Fröbel.
Froebel developed certain principles in regard to children:
- Childhood is its own entity, separate from adulthood, thus educating children should focus on the child and not on preparing them for adulthood.
- The whole child is considered to be important. This includes their physical and mental health, their feelings, thoughts, and spirituality.
- Learning is interconnected and not compartmentalized, as everything is related.
- Intrinsic motivation, resulting in child-initiated, self-directed activity, is valued.
- Self-discipline is emphasized.
- There are receptive periods of learning at different stages of development.
- What children can do (rather than what they cannot do) is the starting point in the child’s education.
- There is an inner life in the child which emerges, especially under favorable conditions.
- The people (both adults and children) with whom the child interacts are of central importance.
- Quality education is about three things: the child, the context in which learning takes place, and the knowledge and understanding that the child develops and learns.
We have Froebel’s insights to thank for incorporating child-initiated activities and including hands-on materials in our classrooms.
Interested in learning more about theories of child development? Check out ChildCareEd’s courses from the list below or visit our website to see our full list of course offerings.
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