When Friedrich Froebel established his Universal German Educational Institute (later renamed Kindergarten) in 1817, his goal was to develop methods, materials and prepared environments for educating creative beings. In 1852, after Germany outlawed Kindergarten and Froebel died, his followers brought Kindergarten to the rest of the world. The most startling aspect of Froebel’s approach was that he began with very young children, and so this aspect of kindergarten is what stood as the most significant aspect of his approach. Today, this is widely considered his only contribution to education, the “father of early childhood education.”
In reality, Froebel sought to empower human creative potential. He provided a visual language for young children, often before they had learned to read and write. He educated humans as designers, much of his method involved creative exploration of geometric shapes and craft materials. He also introduced nature as a classroom for observing how the universe itself is organized.
Froebel USA seeks to re-establish the original aim of Froebel’s work as K-12 design education. As the original Kindergarten did during the Industrial Revolution, a fresh cycle of Froebelian education will facilitate a new era of human progress, where creativity and design become the most valued commodity in our economy.
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