Research on 175+ years of Kindergarten Education

In 2015 the IFS marked the 175th anniversary of the opening of the first kindergarten by Friedrich Froebel. Much has changed since that fateful experiment began, but many of Froebel’s principles continue to guide high-quality early childhood education around the world today.  On the history of the kindergarten and of early childhood education along Froebelian lines, see, for example:


Articles by Kristen Nawrotzki, Barbara Beatty, James Albisetti, Kathleen Uno, Kevin Brehony, Yordanka Valkanova, Elizabeth Rose, Blythe Hinitz, Roberta Wollons and Franz-Michael Konrad in the special Issue: New Perspectives on Preschooling: The Nation and the Transnational in Early Childhood, History of Education Quarterly 49(2) in 2009.

Articles by Kevin Brehony, Yordanka Valkanova, Ann Taylor Allen, Kristen Nawrotzki, Kerry Bethell, Helen May, Stephanie Mathivet and Katja Münchow in the special issue: Early Years Education: Some Froebelian Contributions, History of Education 35(2) in 2006.

Allen, A. T. “Spiritual Motherhood: German Feminists and the Kindergarten Movement 1848-1911.” History of Education Quarterly 22(3) (1982) : 319-339.

Allen, A. T. The Transatlantic Kindergarten: Education and Women’s Movements in Germany and the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

Baader, M.S. “Froebel and the Rise of Educational Theory in the United States.” Studies in Philosophy and Education 23(5), (2004): 427-44.

Beatty, B. Preschool Education in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995).

Berg, E.L. Citizens in the Republic of Childhood: Immigrants and the American Kindergarten, 1880-1920 (PhD University of California – Berkeley, 2004).

Berger, M. “Frauen in der Geschichte des Kindergartens.” in Kindergartenpädagogik Online Handbuch, ed. Martin R. Textor

Brehony, K.J. English revisionist Froebelians and the schooling of the urban poor in., P. Hirsch and M. Hilton, (Eds.) Practical Visionaries: Women, Education and Social Progress 1790-1930 (London: Longman, 2000) 183-199.

Brehony, K.J. The Froebel movement in England 1850-1911: texts, readings and readers in, H. Heiland, M. Gebel and K. Neumann (Eds.) Perspektiven der Fröbelforschung (Wurzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2006) 49-64.

Brehony, K.J. “Transforming Theories of Childhood and Early Childhood Education: Child Study and the Empirical Assault on Froebelian Rationalism.” Paedagogica Historica 45(4) (2009): 585 – 604.

Brosterman, N. Inventing Kindergarten (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1997).

Cavallo, D. “From Perfection to Habit: Moral Training in the American Kindergarten.” History of Education Quarterly 16(2) (1976): 147-61.

Darling, E. “Womanliness in the Slums: A Free Kindergarten in Early Twentieth-Century Edinburgh.” Gender and History (2017).

Erning, G., Neumann, K. and Reyer, J. (eds.). Geschichte des Kindergartens Vol. II: Institutionelle Aspekte, systematische Perspektiven, Entwicklungsverläufe (Freiburg im Breisgau: Lambertus, 1987).

Franke-Meyer, D. Kleinkindererziehung und Kindergarten im historischen Prozess (Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt, 2011).

Kirschenbaum, L.A. Small Comrades: Revolutionizing Childhood in Soviet Russia, 1917-1932. Studies in the History of Education (London: Routledge Falmer, 2001).

Konrad, F. Der Kindergarten. Seine Geschichte von den Anfängen bis in die Gegenwart. 2nd Edition (Freiburg im Breisgau: Lambertus, 2012).

Lawrence, E.M. (ed.) Friedrich Froebel and English education (London: University of London Press, 1952)

Lazerson, M. “Urban Reform and the Schools: Kindergartens in Massachusetts, 1870-1915.” History of Education Quarterly 11(2) (1971): 115-42.

Liebschner, J. Foundations of Progressive Education (Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 1991).

Liebschner, J. A Child’s Work : Freedom and Play in Froebel’s Educational Theory and Practice (Cambridge: Lutterworth, 1992).

Lilley, I.M. Friedrich Froebel: A Selection from His Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967).

May, H. The Discovery of Early Childhood : The Development of Services for the Care and Education of Very Young Children, Mid Eighteenth Century Europe to Mid Twentieth Century New Zealand (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1997).

May, H., Nawrotzki, K.D., & Prochner, H. (eds.) Kindergarten Narratives on Froebelian Education: Transnational Investigations. (London: Bloomsbury, 2016).

Nawrotzki, K.D. The Anglo-American Kindergarten Movements and Early Education in England and the USA, 1850-1965 (PhD, The University of Michigan — Ann Arbor, 2005).

Prochner, L. A History of Early Childhood Education in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009).

Prochner, L. “‘Their Little Wooden Bricks’: A History of the Material Culture of Kindergarten in the United States.” Paedagogica Historica 47, no. 3 (2011): 355-75.

Read, J. “Froebelian Women: Networking to Promote Professional Status and Educational Change in the Nineteenth Century.” History of Education 32(1) (2003): 17-33.

Read, J. The Froebel Movement in Britain, 1900-1939. (PhD, The University of Roehampton, 2012).

Shapiro, M.S. Child’s Garden: The Kindergarten Movement from Froebel to Dewey (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1983).

Weber, E. The Kindergarten: Its Encounter with Educational Thought in America. (Early Childhood Education Series.) (New York: Teachers College Press, 1969).

Wollons, R. “The Black Forest in a Bamboo Garden: Missionary Kindergartens in Japan, 1868-1912.” History of Education Quarterly 33(1) (1993): 1-35.

Wollons, R. (Ed). Kindergartens and cultures: the global diffusion of an idea (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).

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