Saturday, November 5, 2011

We had it right over a century ago....

"Not geography, nor nature-study, nor history, but the child; not the adult, nor adult theories, nor Froebel himself, but the child, is the center and source of the kindergarten.

To see children as they really are and not according to our preconceptions; to live with them instead of making them live with us; to become as little children ourselves instead of forcing them to be wizened adults--this is our present ideal.

In the past we have over-emphasized the oak that lay hid in the acorn. True, the acorn may become a tree, but not without a long process of growth, with much kindly nurture from sun and water and soil, and he who merely emphasizes the unity of seed and plant is falling into a mysticism where distinctions become useless and the incentive to action and effort is lost.

The transformation of the one into the other; the growth process, the development from relative simplicity to complexity, is the fascinating and meaningful thing."

Amy E. Tanner
Kindergarten Review, 1911

 Friedrich Froebel came up with the idea of kindergarten. He was dead for over 50 years when this was written.
I added the whitespace--we're addicted to white space.


Unknown said...

One thing I love about this is the idea that real, authentic, natural education isn't something new and trendy and postmodern. It's been a solid idea out there for awhile. It's vintage.

doyle said...

Dear John,

THe more I read the late 19th and early 20th century stuff, the more I realize how confused we have gotten in the last couple of decades.

When we disconnect ourselves from the world, true education (as opposed to indoctrination), becomes dificult, perhaps even impossible.