Celebrating 70 Years of Publication: Happy Birthday, 'Childhood Education!'

By Wortham, Sue C. | Childhood Education, Summer 1994 | Go to article overview

Celebrating 70 Years of Publication: Happy Birthday, 'Childhood Education!'


Wortham, Sue C., Childhood Education


The International Kindergarten Union presents to everyone interested in the education and development of children Childhood Education as a periodical ready and able to serve these interests. Its president greets them in the name of childhood and urges that they make every possible use of this medium, regarding the journal as their own ...

Nineteen ninety-four marks the 70th anniversary of Childhood Education. The first volume included ten issues produced between September 1924 and June 1925. This article commemorates the anniversary by reviewing some background related to the content in the first volume and highlighting materials that appeared in those first ten issues.

By 1924, the International Kindergarten Union (IKU) had grown from 69 initial charter members to 2,100 associate members, 18 life members and 173 branch societies representing 30,000 interested kindergarten educators, or kindergartners" as they were called in the early years (Boyce, 1924). The organization established a headquarters in Washington, DC, that same year - after 30 years of operation in the homes of presidents or secretaries. The January 1925 issue of Childhood Education announced the new location in Room 1008 of the Investment Building, listing the Branches that had contributed to the cause.

The new official home is a very modest one. It consists of one room located in a fine new office building just opened in Washington, with the conveniences of light, heat, elevator service and care which a modern office building brings.

Only a few necessary pieces of furniture have been bought as yet: a desk for the corresponding secretary, who is also editor of the journal, and a typewriter desk for her associate; a chair for each, and two chairs for "company." (International Kindergarten Union [IKU], 1925, p.259)

Once they were settled in the new office, the editorial staff of May Murray, Editor, and Mabel E. Osgood, Associate Editor, was ready to start producing "The Official Journal of the International Kindergarten Union, Inc." Along with the first Editorial Committee (Ella Ruth Boyce, Luella A. Palmer, Stella A. McCarty and Catharine R. Watkins), they set about fulfilling the mission of Childhood Education "to present education material of high standard which will be of special interest and value to those who are concerned with the education and training of young children" (Childhood Education, October 1924, editorial page).

The Contributing Editors were leaders in the field of early childhood education, including: Arnold Gesell, Yale University; William H. Kilpatrick, Columbia University; William T. Root, University of Pittsburgh; Lucy Wheelock, Wheelock School; Patty Smith Hill, Teachers College; Nora Archibald Smith, New York City; Grace E. Storm, University of Chicago; Nina C. Vandewalker, U. S. Bureau of Education; Julia Wade Abbot, Supervisor of Kindergartens, Philadelphia; Edna Dean Baker, National Kindergarten and Elementary College; Ella Victoria Dobbs, University of Missouri; Alma L. Binzel, Educational Director, Federation for Child Study; Katherine McLaughlin, Southern Branch University of California; and Bird T. Baldwin, University of Iowa.

Each issue contained articles on trends and issues of interest to the members. A section was contributed by the National Council of Primary Education, an organization that would later merge with IKU to form the Association of Childhood Education. Regular columns included: "Music Department,"songs and other suggestions for musical activities; "In the Classroom," ideas for the classroom teacher; and "From the Foreign Field," information from a kindergarten program in another country that had been influenced by the U.S. kindergarten movement. IKU news was reported and "Items of Interest" featured news about members. Finally, a review of books and other publications was included in "The Reading Table."

Issues and Trends in 1924

The first volume of Childhood Education reflected the concerns of that period. …

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