Friedrich Froebel BIOGRAPHY

by Maria Cabezas, Colombia


Friedrich Froebel was born on april 27th 1782. He was from Germany.  His father Johann Jacob Fröbel was the pastor of the orthodox lutheran and his mom passed away when he was just 9 months old. His town had a lot of nature so he was a nature lover.

In 1792, Friedrich went to live with his uncle in Stadtilm. Hoffmann was the name of his uncle, he was kind and affective. At the age of 15, he had a lot of knowledge of forest. But, in 1799, he decided to study mathematics and botanic in Jena. In 1802 to 1805, he worked as surveyor and in 1818, he got married with Wilhelmine Henriette Hoffmeister in Berlin. They did not have children and his wife passed away in 1839. He got married again with  Louise Levin in 1851. 


In 1806, he became a teacher and tutor of three little kids. In 1808 to 1810, he moved to Switzerland and he lived in Pestalozzi Institute. At this point of his life he started to create his own educational system. In 1811 he went back to his country and we taught at two schools.

In 1816, he created the German Institute of General Education. In 1820, Fröbel had already published the first of his five brochures which title is “To our German People”. The other four were published between that date and 1823. In 1826, he printed his literary work, “The Education of Man”, and founded the weekly newspaper “The Education of Families”. In 1828 and 1829, he drew up plans to establish an institute of popular education in Hell, but it never carried out.

In 1833, he moved to Switzerland again and from 1835 to 1836, he directed the orphanage in Bern, where he also published the magazine “Characteristics of Human Education”. 

He returned to Germany and he dedicated exclusively to pre-school education, for which he created play materials. In 1837, he founded the education of children in play and founded the Institute for Kindergarten Activities in Bad Blankenburg. From 1838 to 1840 he also published the magazine “A Sunday School for the like-minded”.

In 1840, he owned the term Kindergarten for this system of education based on play and the Institute of Activity which he had founded in 1837 for kindergarteners or small children together with Wilhelm Middendorf and Heinrich Langethal.

Friedrich Fröbel’s vision was to recognize the importance of the child’s activity in his or her cognitive learning processes. He introduced the concept of “free work” into pedagogy and established “play” as the typical world in children lifes, so in this way is better to educate in and through play; children do things in play that they would never do in an imposed and authoritarian way. Activities in his kindergarten included singing, dancing, gardening, playing and self-direction with Froebel’s “gifts”. Fröbel published a school song book, the Mutter-und Koselieder to introduce the child to the world of adults.

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