Friedrich Froebel was a German educator who invented the kindergarten. He believed that “play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in the child’s soul.” According to Froebel, in play children construct their understanding of the world through direct experience with it. His ideas about learning through nature and the importance of play have spread throughout the world. For more information visit: www.early-education.org.uk/about-froebel
Froebelian principles as articulated by Professor Tina Bruce (2015, 5th edition).
- Childhood is seen as valid in it self, as part of life and not simply as preparation for adulthood. Thus education is seen similarly as something of the present and not just preparation and training for later.
- The whole child is considered to be important. Health – physical and mental is emphasised, as well as the importance of feelings and thinking and spiritual aspects.
- Learning is not compartmentalised, for everything links.
- Intrinsic motivation, resulting in child-initiated, self directed activity, is valued.
- Self- discipline is emphasised.
- There are specially 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 favourable 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 which the child develops and learns.