Eliza Ann Cooper Blaker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 15, 1854. She became interested in Friedrich Froebel's educational philosophies and was trained in his kindergarten methods. The twenty-eight year old teacher was invited to organize a kindergarten in Indianapolis.
As kindergarten attendance grew the need for more competent teachers caused Mrs. Blaker to open a teacher training school in her home. She taught her students that, next to motherhood, teaching is the greatest profession.
Her belief was that the "kindergarten is a miniature world, in which the little one is happy, is harmoniously developed, and learns to think and act as a reasonable being endowed with a high destiny"
Among other excellent resources for elementary teachers, one finds a wide variety of the early teaching aids on display, including several original Froebel Gifts.
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