Pioneers of Early Childhood Education: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide

By Barbara Ruth Peltzman | Go to book overview

Emma Jacobina Christiana Marwedel (1818-1893)
A commitment to vocational education for women and the problems of working women led Marwedel to become interested in educational innovations, especially the kindergarten. Marwedel served as the first director of the Girls's Industrial School in Hamburg, Germany; developed a plan for free cooperative school workshops; and studied with Friedrich Froebel's widow. After emigrating to America, she established a short-lived horticultural school on Long Island in 1870, followed by a successful kindergarten and training school in Washington, D.C., supported by James A. Garfield, John Sherman, and James G. Blaine. She moved to California with the help of Caroline Severance (founder of women's clubs) and established the Model Kindergarten and Pacific Model Training School for Kindergartners in 1876, the first in California and whose first graduate was Kate Douglas Wiggin. In 1880 she established the Pacific Kindergarten Normal School in San Francisco as well as several short-lived training schools in Oakland and Berkeley. Marwedel helped found the San Francisco Kindergarten Society, which established the first free kindergarten on the West Coast; was a founding member of the California Kindergarten Union; and opened an evening school for the vocational training of boys. A lecturer, author, and advocate for educational reform. She studied the work of Edouard Seguine, William Preyer, Francis Galton, and Henry Maudsley to develop a better understanding of the physical and psychological development of children. Marwedel trained teachers who became leaders and reformers in the kindergarten movement. Her work helped establish kindergartens across the United States.
PRIMARY SOURCES
297. Warum Bedurfen Wir Weibliche Gewerbeschulen und Wie Sollen Sie Angelegt Sein? Erlautert Vom Socialen Standpunkte Userer Zeit Von Emma Marwedel Oberleherin An Der Weiblechen Gewerbeschule In Hamburg. [Why Do We Need Female Industrial Schools and How Should They Be Organized? Explained from the Social Point of View of Our Times by Emma Marwedel, Directress of the Women's Industrial School in Hamburg] Hamburg: H. Gruenig, 1868. Survey of women's working conditions and industrial schools in France, England, and Belgium. Presents a plan for developing free cooperative school workshops in Germany. One of two major publications by Marwedel.

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