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Cruikshank, K., 'The Rise and Fall of American Herbartianism. Dynamics of an Educational Reform Movement', Ph.D. Diss., University of Wisconsin, 1993.
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FRIEDRICH WILHELM FROEBEL 1782-1852
By this, in the period of childhood, man (the child) is placed in the center of all things, and all things are seen only in relation to himself, to his life.
Froebel was born in Oberweissbach, Thuringia on 21 April 1782. His mother died when Friedrich was 9 months old. His father, a Lutheran minister, remarried. Friedrich's stepmother left him to the care of servants and his older brothers. For a time he was sent to a school for girls. He gained a reputation as 'stupid, mischievous, and untrustworthy'.
From 11 to 15 he lived with his mother's brother, who sent him to a school for boys. Those were happy years, though due to 'his general backwardness and lack of strength and agility, it was some time before he could take his proper share in the games'.
3 Still he was frustrated that school was unconnected to real life. This early frustration became a central theme in his educational thought-the importance of practical activity as integral to children's education. Judged by his father and stepmother unfit for university, at 15 he was apprenticed to a forester for two years. There he began a lifelong 'religious' relationship with nature, discovering in nature the harmony he found lacking between people.
In 1799, he used a small legacy from his mother to enter the University of Jena to study science and mathematics. There he loaned money to a brother, who did not repay him. Falling into debt, he spent nine weeks in the university jail until his father paid his debt on the condition that he give up his paternal inheritance. For the next three years he worked in various jobs-in a forestry department, as a surveyor, and as an estate manager.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Fifty Major Thinkers on Education: From Confucius to Dewey.
Contributors: Joy A. Palmer - Editor, Liora Bresler - Editor, David E. Cooper - Editor.
Place of publication: London.
Publication year: 2001.
Page number: 94.
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