Every month Aurora Early Child Education focuses on a theorist giving us the opportunity to explore more about their principles and gain a deeper understanding of why they matter. This month’s theorist is Friedrich Froebel, also known as the ‘father’ of Kindergarten.
Friedrich Froebel was a German educator who was responsible for the invention of Kindergarten. He believed that play-based learning is the highest expression of human development in childhood and that it constructs children’s understanding of the world by extensively interacting with it.
Such theorists are important to us because the in-depth knowledge of child development they provide is necessary for us to fully apprehend the physical, social, cognitive, emotional, and educational advancement that children experience from birth and into adulthood.
Froebel’s Theory in Practice
Froebel knew that play impacts the child’s health, environment, mental ability, emotional wellbeing, social relationships, and physical development. This is why he advocated for its significance in early education.
With this in mind, the play theory concocted by Froebel consists of principles that we apply in our approaches today. For instance, free play is a key element of Froebel’s theory as children are free to discover how things work through personal interest and purposeful activities. This is something we also strongly maintain as we trust our children are best absorbing knowledge around them as they freely play.
In addition to that, he believed that practitioners should respect each child’s developmental pace and guide children to come to their own conclusions rather than teach them what to think. At Aurora, we employ these principles as they have proved to benefit our children’s development both physically and mentally.
Moreover, Froebel placed great importance on movement through performance, art, and general imagination, this is also a principle we practice in our centres as it contributes significantly to each child’s advancement. We also ensure that our classrooms are prepared environments that are carefully designed with the appropriate resources to fit each child’s needs, which is another key element in Froebel’s theory.
Based on Froebel’s principles, our educators sensitively focus on what our children can do rather than what they cannot so they nurture their strengths and recognize where they need additional support. Our love and play philosophy means all children are respected, given attention, and have all the time they require to learn in a caring, friendly and fun atmosphere.
In short, Friedrich Froebel is an extremely significant figure in early education as his theories are largely present in our approaches and we acknowledge his remarkable contribution to early learning methods today.