William Torrey Harris (1835-1908) and
Susan E. Blow (1843-1916)Under the leadership of Superintendent of Schools Harris and teacher-trainer Blow,
the first free kindergarten to be part of a large urban public school system opened
in St. Louis in 1873.The contributions made by Harris and Blow to early childhood education include lowering the school entrance age to provide a longer period of education for
the urban poor; combining theory and actual classroom practice with exposure to
the liberal arts in a teacher training program; clear and inspired interpretations of Friedrich Froebel's work; the acceptance of the kindergarten as part of public school
education; the spread of the kindergarten movement throughout the United States;
and the training of many future leaders and teacher educators in early childhood
education. Blow was a leader in the International Kindergarten Union and the Committee of Nineteen; and Harris served as United States Commissioner of Education
( 1886-1906). In addition, Blow was an influential author and lecturer at Teachers'
College, Columbia University.The combined leadership of Harris and Blow made St. Louis a national model
for the development of public school kindergartens and the training of kindergarten teachers.
PRIMARY SOURCES -- HARRIS
|182. || "The Kindergarten". In Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Public Schools Year Ending August 1, 1876, St.
Louis: Slowson Printers, 1877, pp. 79-119. Presents a history of the kindergarten experiment in the St. Louis Public Schools describing its benefits to the poor, costs, teacher training, Blow's work, attendance, curriculum, teachers' salary, play, dangers in classroom management techniques, Froebel's Gifts and Occupations with illustrations for each, success in
primary school after the kindergarten experience supported by statistics,
and the kindergarten "Americanized." Presents a great deal of information. Concludes with questions about the kindergarten that need further
|183. || "Psychological Inquiry". National Education Association Journal of Proceedings and Addresses, 1885 at Saratoga Springs, New York. New York: Little & Co., 1886, pp. 91-101. Discusses the importance of psychology
for teachers. Criticizes the concept of learning by doing because it does
not "give any hint as to what we should learn to do." Refers to the work of|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Pioneers of Early Childhood Education:A Bio-Bibliographical Guide.
Contributors: Barbara Ruth Peltzman - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: 47.
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