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The History of Kindergarten

written by Shelly Ann Richie-Sharp

Kindergarten is a classroom program that consists of children ages three to seven years of age. The programs range from half days to full days of school depending on the availability of the school system. For most children this is the first step towards developing social skills in a group setting without the assistance of mom or dad. Most kindergartens share the objectives of teaching social skills, self-esteem and developing a child's academic ability.

The first kindergarten was founded by a man named Friedrich Froebel. Friedrich Froebel was known as the "Father of Kindergarten" because he developed the first kindergarten in Germany in 1837 (Colliers). His kindergarten developed theories and practices that are still being used today in kindergarten classrooms. His ideas were that children need to have play time in order to learn. Kindergarten should be a place for children to grow and learn from their social interaction with other children.

The first kindergarten was established to help children of poverty and who had special needs. "Many nurseries at this time would coincide with the kindergartens which were run by the philanthropically minded women in order to serve the families of the poor" (Cremin). These nurseries/kindergartens would stress the systematic play of Froebel's philosophy. Through systematic play the children are able to learn to discriminate, analyze, share and solve problems.

Through the efforts of many people the kindergarten has worked its way into many schools, private and public.

Works Cited

  • Colliers Encyclopedia, vol.14 1996 ed.
  • Cremin, Lawrence. "American Education"
Inventing Kindergarten

Inventing Kindergarten uses extraordinary visual materials to reconstruct this successful system, to teach young children about art, design, mathematics, and nature.

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