Intro to the Froebel Kindergarten pedagogy (John, Jay & Scott)

Season #1 Episode #6

In this episode we discuss who Friedrich Froebel was and what his educational pedagogy is all about. Learn about the Froebel's Gifts and Occupations and how he combined child-centered, play-based, hands-on, and nature-focused approaches to education.

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Scott Bultman: You know, again, his view is that we come into this world with something to offer. We just don’t know what that is. Some children have have musical gifts. They have artistic gifts. They have kinesthetic abilities, you know athleticism and those kinds of things. And so the whole idea is to develop what you’re starting with. Take that and try to get the most out of it as possible.

John Pottenger: Welcome to the Path to Learning podcast where three ordinary guys explore the world of education,

Jay Irwin: what’s working, what’s broken,

Scott Bultman: … and what we can do to best advocate for children.

John: I’m John Pottenger.

Scott: I’m Scott Bultman.

Jay:  And I’m Jay Irwin … you’re listening to Path to Learning.

John: So people tuning in today might not have a clue who Froebel is or maybe they’ve heard that he has something to do with education. But Jay, what are we talking about, specifically, today about Froebel?

Jay: I think we all realized that we can’t go much further with this podcast without addressing Froebel. And what the pedagogy of Froebel is that everybody’s kind of mentioned it and it’s only gonna be seated throughout pretty much every conversation we have. So we thought we’d just dedicate a whole podcast to talking about the methodology, and the pedagogy of Friedrich Froebel,

Scott: “fruhr-bull”

Jay: “Froybel”

Scott: “fruhr-bull”

Jay: “froo-bell”

John: We are disciples of Scott, who is also here with us and Scott’s gonna kind of really fill in a lot of the gaps people have questions that they might have about this and, and also, Scott, isn’t there a lot of guess I’m jumping in. But isn’t there a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Froebel, like, you know, it’s very didactic and all that. So we’re gonna get into some of that, right?

Scott: Well, yeah, and what’s been interesting is just recently Helge Wasmuth, who’s a professor of education in New York, just released a book kind of trying to demystify all of this there really hasn’t been much published in English language. You know, ever really. It’s funny you mentioned the word disciple, because there was really a cult of personality around Froebel. But if you listen to Helge, what he basically explains is that, you know, he died in 1852. In Germany, when Kindergarten was outlawed. His entire life’s work was gone with a stroke of a pen. He died a failure. And then it was really the colleagues that took it to America and beyond. And so this whole mythology around him sprung up, nobody really interacted with Froebel, at least in English, you know, it was always translations we were always dealing with that kind of thing. So it’s only really been in the last 20 years or so where a lot of new fresh research searches come to light.

Jay: Our next podcast is gonna dive into a little bit more of the history, but maybe you could give us a really brief idea of why he did what he did and how he became who he was.

Scott: Yeah, it’s interesting. First of all, I always, I always start off by saying that I heard his name pronounced as “Froy-bull” and I heard that from Norman Brosterman. And I heard it from Barbara Corbett. And so that’s how I pronounced it now, Tiffeni Goesel. She pronounces it “Fray-bill” and some people pronounce it “froh-bull” or “froobel.” And it’s probably technically “fruhr-bull.” But you’re gonna hear me say “froybull” because that’s kind of how I started. So we all kind of mispronounce this guy’s name. And, and it’s interesting because the biography (a lot of his information) is online. You can Google the name and you can find the Wikipedia page and you learn. You know, he was born in southeastern Germany and his father was a minister and his mother died when he was an infant. And he was one of those kids. He was almost certainly a gifted child. And he got himself into trouble a lot. But what what kind of made him special was that not only did he have those own kind of childhood traumas of education, but he, at an early age, went to live with his uncle in the forest. And his uncle was a forester.

Scott: So his earliest interest was in botany was in plants and flowers and trees. So the idea that he created something that he called a garden of children is pretty spot on for for his formative years that he spent but then he went to university and he studied architecture. So the fact that he developed the first sets of educational toys and they were blocks and today we still think of him because of the blocks and Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller, that’s pretty spot on as well.

Scott: But when he was at university, he was the last Assistant to Christian Samuel Weiss, who invented the science of crystallography, so Froebel’s later work was really in the area of molecular structure. And so the Kindergarten is designed to combine this idea of observing nature of building with blocks to better understand the underlying structures of the universe. So you tie those three things together. And you pretty much have a handle on kind of where his head was at but then his older brother died. And his sister-in-law said, Look, I can’t handle these boys, you got to take them and continue their education. So he took his nephews to Switzerland to the school that Pestalozzi ran there and he worked in the schools side by side as a teacher as a way of paying for the nephews to go there. Pestalozzi started with older children, you know, sort of upper elementary age, you know, 10 to 11-years-old, and did some pretty innovative things like teaching drawing, for instance, as a way of, you know, combining that into the curriculum.

Scott: But Froebel really felt like they were starting too late in the child’s life that they really had to start younger because it was at that point that he was observing children in an educational setting. And after he left and returned to Germany, he got involved in education as sort of his life’s work. And that’s where he really developed his his manifesto, which is the “Education of Man.” I can’t pronounce the German title. We usually translated as the “education of man.” But really, the Germans would probably translate it as “human education,” because he sat back and thought about what we are, what are human beings we’re creative beings were the only life form on the planet that creates, you know, the kinds of structures and tools and you know, air conditioning and rockets to the moon and all this kind of no other life form, you know, even if they’re making rudimentary tools, or they’re building structures like beavers do, and that kind of thing. We’re really the only creative beings on the planet or maybe in the universe, we don’t know. So he thought, Well, if we’re gonna develop a system of education, we should probably start there. If we’re if we’re creative beings, we should support that creativity. And we should also learn how nature itself creates. And his goal was for children to observe it in nature, and then explore it using the materials He developed the Gifts and Occupations.

John: That’s a great segue. Can you explore the Gifts 9 to 1? What are the Gifts and Occupations?

Scott: Oh, he really did something kind of innovative. He started with the whole. I mean, again, he had a very holistic way of viewing the world. So he started with whole forms. And he recognized that with very, very young children with infants, that the ball is usually the first toy that captures a child’s imagination and some of that has to do with how easy it is to grasp a ball, you know, the round shape. The other side of it is that Froebel as a observer of mathematical structure, molecular structure, recognize that the sphere is the origin of other geometric forms and so his Gift 1 is yarn balls, but his Gift 2 takes the solid wooden sphere the same size as the yarn balls of Gift 1. And in this, what I call a “science experiment.” Gift 2 is like a science experiment, it allows children to observe these crystal informs the sphere, the cube the cylinder, and to see that the sphere leads to the cylinder leads to the cube. And then that’s what really What Gift 2 is about. It’s a, it’s a transition. And then the other solid Gifts, Gifts 3, 4, 5 and 6 are essentially sections of the cube. So those are the solids and then from there, he moved on to other kinds of materials that kind of tie into these original six Gifts. Now, Froebel named them as “Gifts” because of sort of a double meaning. On one hand, they were given to the child and they wanted the child to respect them as something that had been given to them.

Scott: But really what they are is a tool to explore what a child’s individual gifts are. So what is it that a child has inside them already, so that you can start with that you can observe that that a child may be interested in music or might be interested in, you know, science or those kinds of things. And you can find that and then build on it. So that’s sort of a play on words with the word gift … “gabe,” spielgabe in German, but the other things that were attributed to Froebel as being called Gifts, were really things that happened after he died. So Froebel had on the drawing board a Gift 7 and a Gift 8, which were four-inch cubes that were divided in even to smaller parts. But that never came to be.

Scott: And so when Milton Bradley in the 1869-1870 kind of started manufacturing this stuff, he thought, well, the more products the better, so If you look at some of that literature, it’s kind of confusing. You think well, wait a minute, aren’t there 13 Gifts because Milton Bradley said there were 13 Gifts. But what those later numbered items are, we now call the surface gift, which is the the parquetry tablets, the flat two-dimensional shapes. And those are derived from the surfaces of the three dimensional so you have like a square tile, a one inch square tile, and that’s the surface of a one-inch cube. And a child can take those six one-inch tiles and actually place them on the cube and see that these surfaces are derived from the three-dimensional forms. And so that’s kind of the underlying ideas. A lot of people think that with the numbers of the gifts that you start with one and then you go to two, and you don’t you can get involved in it. You can jump in and you know get five and then go to give three and then go to one. There isn’t any real hard and fast rule. But there’s no question that there’s a sequence starting with the whole form of the sphere, moving through the cylinder to the cube, dividing up the cube, taking the surfaces of those divisions, and then you have the line forms the straight and curved lines, and you have the point. And then what Froebel did, which was so interesting was he used peas and toothpicks, or cork and wire is another way to do it.

Scott: To use sort of a point-and-line, and it’s essentially a recapitulation. It’s a three-dimensional form that’s now been completely abstracted. It doesn’t take up. It just occupies a certain space that’s been delineated by the lines in the points. It’s a little bit hard to describe, in words, but but visually, you know, it’s it’s a framework, I call it the Framework Gift™ and another way to say it to people so they get it immediately is it’s Tinkertoys. Tinkertoys are a framework. It’s lines and points. So where’s a place where people can see pictures of all these things you’re talking about? Well, there’s is a site that that I do and, you know, you can Google “Froebel Gifts” you’ll see all sorts of images.

Scott: But I guess what I’m trying to say is that there’s a lot of misunderstanding. There’s a lot of debate over what is and isn’t a Gift. And then you get things like Gift 5B, Gift 5P, you know, just all sorts of outrageous things that people came up with now. I do like Milton Bradley came up with I shouldn’t say he came up with but many mod Glidden at the Pratt Institute and others, developed extensions of the Gifts so there’s a Divided Cylinder, which is very much like Gift 3 or Gift 4, and there’s a Curvilinear Gift and I do like those but again, these are things that were not in Froebel’s lifetime. They were things that happened after he died.

John: So from a pedagogical standpoint, there’s several ways you could use these Gifts right? It’s not just learning how surfaces connect to a cube right? There’s he had different categories to help guide the learning. Is that right?

Scott: Yeah, he called them Forms of Life, Forms of Knowledge, and Forms of Beauty and Forms of Life are things that are in a child’s world. So if you give them a prompt and you say, you know, make something you would like for Christmas, the child kind of goes internal. They think about what they want, they think about what that looks like. And then they use these very simple design materials to represent what’s going on inside them. And really, that’s that’s how these things work. They’re really designed as a mechanism for children to manifest internal thinking, as a creative being, and at the same time, simultaneously adults observing What’s going on inside the child’s mind because what they’re what they’re developing.

Scott: Now, as I said earlier, designers get that immediately because designers prototype with rudimentary materials, designers are constantly trying to manifest their creative ideas outside themselves. And so, you know, somebody like Norman Brosterman, and who was trained, you know, as an artist, as a designer, as an architect, he sees these materials and he knows right away what they’re for. But then you get an educator, and maybe somebody even with Montessori training, that where they use educational materials, and they, they want to know, they want to know, how do I use this? how, you know, what’s the process? What’s the, show me the curriculum, show me the list of steps, like you would do a say of a binomial queue or something like that. And that’s exactly the opposite of what Froebel intended, you know. And so, what I like about it, what makes it so powerful for me is that three-year-olds can use Use these aid one-inch cubes to manifest their internal ideas. And an eight-year-old will use the same cubes. But now they’re eight. And they’ve they’ve been using these cubes for five years and their their thinking is become much more sophisticated. But they can still use the same set. And then, you know, a an 18-year-old or an adult can use them also, in exactly the same way.

Scott: And so what’s fascinating in that is that it’s really showing how much the child has come along how much they’ve learned. And it’s really not in the set of materials itself. It’s not built in. And I say that and what happens is, for Froebel teachers that are trained, they get really angry because they say “no, these are the most amazing things on Earth.” They’re, you know, they’ve been so carefully crafted and that is true. Froebel did build into these materials, the kinds of structures he’s saw in crystals, you know, the molecular structure that’s in the universe, because he wanted children to be able to discover that.

John: But other than that, I mean, I think it’s an amazing industrial design success in terms of the person that invented the first educational toys pretty much nailed it. And I don’t know if anybody has been able to top it in the last, you know, 200 years. And one of the things that people get sometimes get wrong is that they view it like, Where are the instructions? I want to they think of it like a Lego set. Oh, you’re supposed to build a house. Okay, show me the picture of the house so I can copy that. And that’s completely backwards from what he was trying to go for. Is that right?

Scott: Well, it’s … yeah. And again, what people say to me, you know, they say, “Well, can we use the Gifts this way?” And it’s like, Well, sure, if you want, I mean, you know, you could use your iPhone as a paperweight too, but that’s not what it was designed for. And it’s really capable of a lot more. And so then people say, “Oh, well, okay, then show me how I do that.” And it’s like, well, that’s going to involve some training. That’s going to involve some, some practice … some experience. It’s just people that are looking for the easy. I mean, it’s kind of an not only it’s an indictment of, of maybe teachers in some ways, but also the education system that supports that teachers want a curriculum that has an expected outcome and a list of steps. And, you know, why are we doing this, we’re to achieve this one thing. And they’re really designed to do all sorts of things. So anyway, I talked about Forms of Life, Forms of Knowledge would be more in line with what normal educational toys or Montessori apparatus they, you can use them to count. So for instance, you could have a child pick up a cube and count the number of surfaces, count the number of points, the number of lines, I mean, those are interesting things. You could you could have discussions about what material is this made of? What sound does it make their their observable scientific, you know, ideas, you can use Gift 5, for instance, to reason out and prove that the factory and theorem.

Scott: So there’s a lot of things that you can do that or that are more didactic or more instructive. So there’s a lot you can do with Forms of Knowledge. And then there’s Forms of Beauty which are symmetrical, abstract patterning. Because Froebel was aware that one of the things that human beings do better than almost any other species is to recognize pattern where we’re pattern recognizing. And that’s really one of the things that has allowed us to be as successful. We’re not the largest. We’re not the fastest species on the planet. But what Froebel recognized that we have is what we might today call a holographic brain. We’re able to conceive of three dimensions We can look at a schematic for instance, or blueprint. And we can envision what that structure is going to look like we can think in those terms. And so these these patterns in the forms of beauty, were really designed to get children thinking. And symmetry in general is a huge part of crystallography. It’s a huge part of chemistry. So a lot of times when people go back and look at this 19th century, early childhood system, it just seems really chaotic or old fashioned. You know, having these kids make these patterns, like what could they possibly get from that? But when you really get down into it, and you see the genius behind having children do that, in terms of exploring pattern exploring symmetry, you’re really preparing them for STEM careers. You know, you’re preparing them for science, which is where for eyeballs background was

Jay: So I’m really interested in hearing a little bit more about the age range that Froebel targeted and why that was so important.

Scott: Well, there isn’t really a set age range. Now kindergarten was intended for children three to seven, but Froebel believed that you needed to start right away. And so what they did was they had mother classes. So he knew that the mother was really the child’s first teacher. You know, kids are learning even in the womb, as an infant, you know, mothers are, they’re talking, they’re singing, you know, they’re playing little games, you know, the eye contact, all of that is so crucial. But what he thought was the age range from three to seven was a very social period for children. I mean, he saw that there was a … as a species that there was a process that we all go through where you know, we were born, we kind of cling to our moms because that’s, you know, for breastfeeding and all of that. And then we start to kind of detach once we realize that we’re not part of our moms. We’re sort of unique, you know, but we’re still very much part of the family. And so there’s that period of time, from three to seven, where you’re asserting your independence. And yet you’re also learning to be social with other children.

Scott: And then as you get older, as you get into the sort of the later, elementary years in this country, you know, grade five, grade six, it becomes even more intense socially. I mean, there’s puberty, there’s all that kind of thing, and that’s where the children start to begin to detach from the family. There starts to be a lot of conflict in the family because the teenagers are trying to really assert their independence, not just from the mom, but you know, just in general society, what’s their identity and also private was very much aware of all of these periods these, what they call now ages and stages. And what happened was 7080 years after Froebel died, Piaget came along, came up with some very interesting ways of scientifically showing all of this, you know, and trying to document, you know, at what specific age do children recognize, you know, that two glasses with the same amount of water, but different geometries actually have the same amount of water in them, you know, those kinds of cognitive skills. Piaget was learning how and documenting exactly what that was, but Froebel observed it. And he applied it to what he was developing with the kindergarten. So while he didn’t necessarily do the science, he attended to it with materials.

Scott: So, you know, the idea behind Gift 1 is it’s a grasping toy. It’s a visual acuity toy, either little games, it’ll have songs associated with it, that’s what the mother will use with the infant. And then when you come into the Kindergarten, which is children three to seven, an ungraded range, you’ll play with those same yarn balls again, you’ll get more use out of them. But now, now you’re playing games that are engaging you at kind of where you’re at developmentally what the kinds of you know, you’re playing with other children. You’re looking at other animals that are outside so you’re, you know, you’re you’re observing. So these simple geometric materials that don’t really do anything in particular that the child could then use as a modeling tool as an an activity. You know, you don’t get bogged down into it.

Scott: But I think one of the interesting things is once Milton Bradley developed this whole school supply business, he was really sort of the founder, when they were developing these materials for kindergardens he got into manufacturing, chalkboards and desks and chairs. And he invented the paper cutter so that kindergarten teachers could cut paper strips for paper weaving.

John: So I’m gonna jump in here because the you just brought up paper weaving and that is not a Gift. That’s something else. Maybe you can segue into that.

Scott: Yeah, so there again, these are just sort of generic activities. And he he kind of put them into two categories. He put them into Gifts and Occupations. And the distinction is this. A Gift is something that goes back to its original form. So when you’re done playing with those eight one-inch cubes, they go back in the box.But an Occupation … let’s say you were playing with cubes of clay, and you let them dry. Well, they’re not going to go back there, they’re set. If you draw on paper, you’re not going to “undraw” the paper. If you if you cut paper if you perforate paper. You can’t undo it. So an Occupation as sort of an end-product that you can put on the wall or whatever. But a Gift is something that goes back into its box. The one thing I want to follow up on real quick about the Forms of Life, Knowledge and Beauty is that when Froebel sat down and thought about how these materials could be played with, he determined that there is literally only three ways that you can play with materials. You can either represent something with Forms of Life, you can explore some scientific thing, you know, measuring and that kind of thing, Forms of Knowledge. Or you can create something that’s abstract. And that’s Forms of Beauty. And there’s literally not no other way to play with this stuff. So that’s what I find so interesting is it really indicates how deeply he was thinking about the stuff that he was doing.

Jay: Can you talk a little bit about how Froebel challenged the empty vessel metaphor.

Scott: Yeah, I, you know, a lot of times people they think of a child as an empty vessel that just needs us to pour knowledge into it. And he really observed how children processed information and develop their awareness of the worlds what we now talk about today constructing knowledge. That’s sort of the what the constructivists again, 100 years after arrival started, you know, 50 some odd years after he died, they started developing these movements, these awarenesses of that, but, you know, again, his view is that we come into this world with, with something to offer. We just don’t know what that is. Some children have, have musical gifts, they have artistic gifts, they have, you know, kinesthetic abilities, you know, athleticism and those kinds of things. And so the whole idea is to develop what you’re starting with take that, and, you know, try to get the most out of it as possible. So …

Jay: Yeah, I love I love how you said it in an interview that the curriculum is in the child. That always really hammered home to me kind of the underlying principle of what Froebel is after.

Scott: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s, that’s really, you’re trying to develop the child, that’s really what I’m kind of paraphrasing what he said, which is, you know, “my children will be developed.” You know, that it’s a it’s a kind of a different approach to, to an understanding of, of what children are. And, you know, in a real practical sense, when you’re having a conversation with somebody, you can just simply start talking and I often do without any regard to whether or not anybody cares about what it is you’re saying. Or you can speak to the listening ear, you can you can talk to what people are really waiting to hear from you. You’ll be much more successful if you do that than if you just start speaking what it is you think that they might want to hear, you know. And so that was his approach to education was he was hoping to speak to children in what they were interested in hearing. So he observed them and really followed the child, which is something that Montessori was given credit for, but really child-centered education, following the child is really just a more efficient way of, of doing it, you know, because you’re starting where the child is that it’s efficient for the learning of the child, but it’s inefficient in terms of trying to get 30 kids to be doing it when you’re one teacher. Absolutely. And that’s why it’s not done anymore.

Scott: People always ask, “Well, why don’t we do this anymore?” It’s because it was easier to manage a school that had a standardized curriculum and standardized testing. So we keep saying, well, we want to educate children better today. It’s like, “well, not until you change your management practices.” And then you say that to the management and they say, “Well, what tools do we have to manage a classroom where every child is doing something different and is in a different place?”

Scott: And so this is why there’s such an emphasis on literacy. Because what Froebel observed is that a three-year-old potentially might want to read, you know, we might call that they’re a prodigy, but really, it’s within the norm that three-year-olds can read. But children who don’t read until they’re 7, 8, or 9 years-old, that they might be labeled, as you know, developmentally delayed, but it’s really not. Some children just simply aren’t interested in reading until they’re seven years old. So there’s a range there. And if you try to maintain a classroom where you have a three year old reading, but a seven-year-old, isn’t it just it’s just hard to manage? And so instead of doing the real work of trying to figure out a better way to manage a classroom. We’ve done the opposite. And we force children to learn to read at whatever age we want them to learn to read. And if they cry, and they get stressed, and it causes problems, and we hold them back in here … well, that’s not our problem. Yeah, you know, that’s the child’s problem they should have learned to read when we told them to learn to read. So it’s a really horrible thing. And we like to think that we have this really amazing system of education. But every year, for decades, our ranking has continued to fall worldwide. And what’s essentially happened is when you look at the rankings, the countries that are doing the best like South Korea and Finland, are the ones that 30-40 years ago returned to a child-centered for Froebelian approach to education and if we want to get our ratings up, that’s exactly what we have to do to

John: Any facets of Froebel approach or pedagogy that we haven’t touched on? We’ve touched on nature. And we’ve touched on pans on. I don’t know if we’ve touched on play as much.

Scott: Well, I guess the only thing to say is that what Froebel realized is that all species play, and that it’s how life forms, learn their surroundings, they learn how to do all sorts of things, young animals will spar with each other as a way of learning how to fight, because at some point later in their life, it might come down to a life or death situation and they don’t know how to fight. So, you know, boys like to fight, you know, and we say, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no.” And it’s like, well, but that’s a biological, what you can do is you can redirect it, you can guide it, you can, you know, make sure that it’s in a healthy way. But it’s a biological imperative to play for pretty much all species. And so when Froebel started With a play based system, he was simply observing the science of the world. And that human beings are going to play, we might as well harness that impulse that a child has to play and explore, or spend 90% of your time fighting, making a child sit still. It just it just seems so counter-intuitive, you know, but again, what I’m saying is I’m an I’m a non, I’m a non educator, right? I’m not. I’m a parent. I’m a son of an early childhood educator. I don’t have a PhD. And it seems completely obvious to me, from what I know from having raised three children. And so I’m asking myself, how is it for the last century for over 100 years, we have allowed in this country, some insane approach to educating children that doesn’t take into account something as simple as as the fact that play is the engine that drives all learning for all species, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

John: I think what I have found completely fascinating with Froebel is that the good things happening in education today that you see in places like Waldorf, Reggio, or Montessori or project-based, any kind of child-centered, they all kind of stem … they all have roots in Froebel’s original concepts and ideas. And so for me that just that just like you can explore all of it. You can explore nature, you can explore play, the maker movement, art design, prototyping creativity, like all the things that we’re looking for problem solving, social emotional, they all come back to Froebel, and it just blows my mind.

Scott: Well, again, he put a lot of time into it. He spent 40 years of his life focused specifically on this. But more importantly, once he died, his followers really continued to expand it but they really built up cult of personality, a lot of things are attributed to him like like the the numbering of the Gifts and the extra Gifts, you know, they bear his name. But he really wasn’t involved in it. At the same time. They’re also not giving credit to the women who really built early childhood in this country and essentially worldwide. It’s still a women’s movement. It’s still women leading that field, and they just haven’t been given the credit. Well, that’s why I really like that book by Helge Wasmuth, because it really kind of gives credit where credit is due.

Jay: Awesome.

John: Yeah. Well, for those people who are trying to find out more about our project, and maybe how they can get involved or even if they’re interested in acquiring some of these materials, Scott, what are some of the places they can go to define this stuff?

Scott: Well, so there’s … has some rudimentary information and basically a lot of the Froebel roads lead back to to an online store, which is Red Hen toys, it’s or if you want to get right to shopping, it’s We also have conferences, not every year, but most years. And you can see that at But mostly it’s good to connect with us on social media. You know, we really want to hear from people. You know, we’re happy to answer questions to kind of point them in the right direction, right. I don’t try to sell a lot of this stuff because ultimately, if somebody misunderstands it and doesn’t really get the value out of it, they’re going to be unhappy with me anyway. So I tend to sell it to those people that kind of already know what they’re buying. I don’t try to make it overly easy to find.

Jay: And there’s still a great opportunity to become the very first Patreon supporter You listening right now could be our very first Patreon supporter. And where would they go to do that?

John: Of course, we’ve now we’ve now timestamp this. So in 10 years when we have 50 million followers as of April 3rd.

Jay: Yeah. 2020.

Scott: Well, and I think I think it could just be a guess on my part, but I’m thinking that the person that becomes our first Patreon supporter, they might find that they’ll get something in return at a much higher dollar amount that it is that they’ve committed to because, you know, as somebody that has a lot of stuff in my warehouse,

Jay: yeah, you just don’t sign up right now.

Scott: You just don’t know. Just don’t know.

Jay: We would love some support though. If that was possible. Anything would help. Yeah. Help the cause? Where can they where can they do that job?

John: If you want to support what we’re doing, you can join us on [email protected] slash path to learning. Even just giving us a review.

Jay: Yeah, review would be fantastic

John: Things that people can do that would really help us out. We’ve found that with podcasting seems like Apple is the place iTunes is where a lot of people are listening. So if you if you do like what you’re hearing, give us a review on iTunes. And secondly, if you want to join the conversation, probably the most conversational we are is on our Facebook page, which is And we also have a website, which is Yeah, we would love to just engage with all of you who are listening and just hear what you’re interested in. And it will also guide what episodes and what places we can focus. We have so many interviews and so many different facets of this story from art and design and architecture to the women’s movement to you know, the actual pedagogy that we kind of touched on a little today and how do you do do play better? Or how do we address testing? If so much material. So give us that feedback. We’d love to hear it.

Scott: Yeah, one thing I want to just mention real quick that if you go to the YouTube channel, FroebelUSA YouTube channel, there are a lot of clips that we’ve made with John and Jay for Match Frame Creative that you can get more information on Froebel and Froebel Gifts there too, as well.

Jay: Scott, do you want to introduce our next podcast is going to feature

Scott: Is it Norman?

Jay: Yeah, Norman.

Scott: Is it Norman? Norman Brosterman? Norman is an amazing person, and I’ve known him a long time. He is the author of Inventing Kindergarten. And he’s always fascinating to talk to. So I think there’s something for our listeners to be looking forward to next time.

Jay: Awesome. Thanks, everyone for tuning in.

John: Thanks, everybody.

Scott: See you next time.


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