Pioneers of Early Childhood Education: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide

By Barbara Ruth Peltzman | Go to book overview
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Granville Stanley Hall (1844-1924)
Hall laid the foundation for modern child psychology and helped to reshape the kindergarten.The contributions Hall made to early childhood education include the creation of the child study movement; a curriculum based on the nature and needs of children as gathered by objective observational techniques; clean, well-lit, well-ventilated classrooms for kindergartens; and, because large muscles develop early and need exercise, a program of active games, music, spontaneous free play, language development, outdoor play, and the use of the imagination to replace Froebel's sedentary activities that overused immature small muscles. He encouraged teachers to experiment with methods and materials; as first president of Clark University, he developed a series of summer conferences to enable teachers to discuss problems in child development that attracted leaders in kindergarten reform; which created a controversy and a split in the International Kindergarten Union that led to reforms. He also developed questionnaires and anecdotal records as methods of data collection; enlisted teachers in data collection on physical, intellectual, emotional, and social behavior; concluded that children think and react differently from adults; believed in an evolutionary concept of development that each stage must be lived through for development to be complete. He was the author of many books and articles including The Content of Children's Minds.The child study movement helped kindergarten theory and practice evolve into valuable contributions to education. New insights into how young children learn and what they are able to do became the basis for educational practice at all levels.
PRIMARY SOURCES
150. "The Content of Children's Minds". Princeton Review 2 ( May 1883): 249- 272. First major work based on data gathered by teachers in Boston. Interesting tabulation of questions.
151. "New Departures in Education". The North American Review140 ( February 1885): 144-152. States that the common school does not respect childhood. Provides advice on restructuring school to include a new education based on a knowledge of childhood.
152. "The Story of a Sand Pile". Scribner's Magazine 3 ( June 1888): pp. 690- 696. Describes children at play in a longitudinal study, which is not his usual research method. Reports how children playing alone create their own social institutions providing evidence that children's development can be seen as the basis for socialization. This has been called Hall's most

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