Pioneers of Early Childhood Education: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide

By Barbara Ruth Peltzman | Go to book overview
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Arnold Lucius Gesell (1880-1961)
As G. Stanley Hall's most famous student, Gesell built on his mentor's work by introducing the use of one way mirrors and cinematography to child study. Gesell advocated a "downward extension" of education to include children considered too young for kindergarten. Enthusiasm for nursery school education was encouraged by Gesell's articles in Childhood Education. Gesell's contributions to early childhood education include a new view of how children grow and develop based on film and photographic samples of behavior; respect for individual differences in development; use of age characteristics and interests to plan curriculum and activities; and a commitment to the importance of the ages 2 through 6 in the life of a child.Without Gesell's work in child study, early childhood education would not have been able to move toward recognizing and meeting the needs of all young children.
PRIMARY SOURCES
103. "The Changing Status of the Pre-School Child". Progressive Education 2 ( January-March, 1925): 8-10. Discusses increased interest in the preschool child (providing a definition of the age group), new trends in legislation, education, home life, public health practices, and clinic and laboratory practices. Describes medical, educational, legislative, and child study practices that make preschool education an exciting idea.
104. The Mental Growth of the Pre-School Child: A Psychological Outline of Normal Development from Birth to the Sixth Year, Including a System of Developmental Diagnosis. New York: Macmillan, 1925. A detailed description of every aspect of child development from birth to age 6. Includes 200 photographs.
105. "The Significance of the Nursery School". Childhood Education 1, no. 1 ( September 1925): 11-22. Discusses the nursery school movement in terms of the origin of the nursery school, the educational significance of the preschool period, the mental hygiene of the preschool age, the social control of preschool hygiene, and the social significance of the nursery school. Concludes by stating that nursery school education must preserve the parent-child relationship and not place too much emphasis on the child as a child.
106. "The Downward Extension of the Kindergarten: A Unified Policy for Early Education". Childhood Education 2, no. 2 ( October, 1926): 53-59. Provides historical information about the kindergarten and nursery school as

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