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an online resource about Friedrich Froebel, founder of the Kindergarten, born 21 April 1782

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Kommt, lasst uns unsern Kindern leben!

This quote from Friedrich Fröbel is often translated into English as "Come, Let us live with our children". German uses case endings ( here Dative/Plural= unsern Kindern ) to express relationships commonly expressed in English by prepositions. This is a true and beautiful 19th century construction . . . Lasst uns Unsern Kindern. The meaning is fuller than English for or with . . . it means really alongside of, and for the sake of. Perhaps, "Come let us live for our children", is a preferred translation.

Fröbel´s thinking was a part of the romantic movement. Philosophically he is an objective idealist, the centre in his universe is God. His practical education was very well structured and founded in the rationalistic practice of Pestalozzi. Fröbel claimed that education is like a natural process; that the child is an organic whole which develops through creative self-activity according to natural laws; that the individual is an organic part of the society; and that the universe as a whole is an organism of which all lesser organisms are members. According to Fröbel, man was a self-expressive being, who had to follow the inner calling.

Fröbel's appreciation for the interconnectedness of all nature appeals to those who are interested in protecting the environment and understanding the complexity of the ecosystem. As an apprenticed forester Friedrich moved through the woodlands of Thuringia, aware of each plant and animal, absorbing healing from the forest and developing the deep awareness of the unity of nature, which he was to bring to the education of children. His choice of the name, kindergarten, meaning a garden of children, directs our attention to the wonder and unity of nature.

The interest in the Friedrich Fröbel Framework has encouraged the broader concept of a Fröbel Web project to provide links to information about Friedrich Fröbel. This project is an interactive online collaboration.



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