Alice Harvey Whiting Putnam (1841-1919)
Her desire to find the right way to educate her children led Putnam to organize a
parents group to discuss Friedrich Froebel's Mother Play and Songs
in 1874. This
desire to learn more about Froebel's method through reading, discussion, and training
changed Putnam's life. Putnam took an active role in the development of early childhood education.
After training with Anna Ogden, she opened a kindergarten in her home. She supervised the Training School of the Chicago Froebel Association from 1880 to 1910 at Cook County Normal School, transferring headquarters to Hull House to.
provide students with experience working with slum children. Art and science experiences were included in her training classes. Putnam was a teacher and director
of the demonstration kindergarten at Cook County Normal School; a founding
member of the Chicago Kindergarten Club and president in 1890; and a member
and, in 1901, president of the International Kindergarten Union. She taught two
courses as a nonresidential reader in education at the University of Chicago, as
well as being an author and lecturer. Putnam believed in kindergarten reform based on what was best for the children rather than strict adherence to Froebel's materials. A strong supporter of creativity and firsthand experiences, Putnam was against formal instruction in the kindergarten.
|395. "Froebel's Message to Parents". National Education Association Journal of
Proceedings and Addresses 1889. Topeka: Kansas Publishing House, 1889,
pp. 473-478. Discusses Froebel's law of symbolism and analyzes it in
relation to America in 1889, fifty years after he wrote Die Mutter Und.
Kose Lieder. This is an attempt to evaluate the significance of Froebel's
advice to parents on early education.|
|396. "Shall Reading and Writing be Taught in the Kindergarten?" Proceedings of
the International Congress of Education of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, July 25-28, 1893 Under the Charge of the National Education Association of the United States. New York: National Education
Association, 1895, pp. 327-328. States that there are definite stages of
growth at particular periods of life in which we may do certain things,
when we must work out certain problems which cannot be solved at any
other time in life. The games, Gifts, and Occupations of the kindergarten
are suited to the child's developmental stage and help the child gain information from the senses needed for further growth. Introducing reading at|