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Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: This is the first comprehensive book about the original kindergarten, a revolutionary educational program for children that was invented in the 1830s by the charismatic German educator Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) and grew to become a familiar institution throughout the world by the end of the nineteenth century. Using extraordinary visual material, it reconstructs the most successful system for teaching young children about art, design, mathematics, and natural history ever devised. Kindergarten - a coinage of Froebel's combining the German words for children and garden - involved not only nature study, singing, dancing, and storytelling, but also play with the so-called Froebel gifts - a series of twenty educational toys, including building blocks, parquetry tiles, origami papers, modeling clay, sewing kits, and other design projects, that became wildly popular in the nineteenth century. Architect and artist Norman Brosterman tells the story of Froebel's life, explains his goals and educational philosophy, and - most remarkably - describes each of the gifts, illustrating them all, as well as many examples of art by nineteenth-century kindergarten teachers and children, and diagrams from long-forgotten kindergarten textbooks. In a section of the book devoted to the origin of abstract art and modern architecture, Brosterman shows how this vast educational program may have influenced the course of art history. Using examples from the work of important artists who attended kindergarten - including Georges Braque, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier, among others - he demonstrates that the design ideas of kindergarten prefigured modern conceptions of the aesthetic power of geometric abstraction. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: This is the first comprehensive book about the original kindergarten, a revolutionary educational program for children that was invented in the 1830s by the charismatic German educator Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) and grew to become a familiar institution throughout the world by the end of the nineteenth century. Using extraordinary visual material, it reconstructs the most successful system for teaching young children about art, design, mathematics, and natural history ever devised.
Kindergarten - a coinage of Froebel's combining the German words for children and garden - involved not only nature study, singing, dancing, and storytelling, but also play with the so-called Froebel gifts - a series of twenty educational toys, including building blocks, parquetry tiles, origami papers, modeling clay, sewing kits, and other design projects, that became wildly popular in the nineteenth century.
Architect and artist Norman Brosterman tells the story of Froebel's life, explains his goals and educational philosophy, and - most remarkably - describes each of the gifts, illustrating them all, as well as many examples of art by nineteenth-century kindergarten teachers and children, and diagrams from long-forgotten kindergarten textbooks.
In a section of the book devoted to the origin of abstract art and modern architecture, Brosterman shows how this vast educational program may have influenced the course of art history. Using examples from the work of important artists who attended kindergarten - including Georges Braque, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier, among others - he demonstrates that the design ideas of kindergarten prefigured modern conceptions of the aesthetic power of geometric abstraction.

Review: Adults over a certain age probably have similar memories of their first taste of school--the half-day kindergarten that featured singing, finger-painting, stories, and naptime. Whatever lessons we absorbed during those halcyon hours were not obvious ones, but we developed confidence, exercised our imaginations, and learned the basic schoolroom drill concerning school buses, milk money, and raising our hands before asking or answering a question. These days, kindergarten is a far departure from its earlier incarnation; instead of a loosely structured time to play and discover, modern kindergartens are more like First Grade 101, in which children are taught their numbers and letters and even assigned homework. Norman Brosterman, author of Inventing Kindergarten, doesn't approve.

Inventing Kindergarten is partly Brosterman's views about the importance of the traditional kindergarten in shaping the hearts and minds of children, partly a biography of an almost-forgotten educator, Friedrich Froebel, the inventor of kindergarten. In tracing Froebel's life and beliefs about education, Brosterman makes a strong case for returning to Froebel's original model in order to encourage the development of "a sensitive, inquisitive child with an uninhibited curiosity and a genuine respect for nature, family and society." Even if you don't agree with Brosterman's belief that kindergarten is responsible for many of modern art's geniuses, it's hard to argue with a philosophy that makes room for the importance of play in early education.

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