Thursday August 26, 2021’s Smile of the Day: Kindergarten

On this Day:

In 1873, the first free kindergarten in the U.S. was started by Susan Blow in Carondelet, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.  However, kids have been driving their kindergarten teachers crazy for a whole lot longer than that.

Kindergarten is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. Such institutions were originally made in the late 18th century in Bavaria and Alsace to serve children whose parents both worked outside home. The term was coined by the German Friedrich Fröbel, whose approach globally influenced early-years education. Today, the term is used in many countries to describe a variety of educational institutions and learning spaces for children ranging from 2 to 6 years of age, based on a variety of teaching methods.

In 1779, Johann Friedrich Oberlin and Louise Scheppler founded in Strasbourg an early establishment for caring for and educating preschool children whose parents were absent during the day. At about the same time, in 1780, similar infant establishments were created in Bavaria. In 1802, Princess Pauline zur Lippe established a preschool center in Detmold, the capital of the then principality of Lippe, Germany (now in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia).

In 1816, Robert Owen, a philosopher and pedagogue, opened the first British and probably globally the first infants school in New Lanark, Scotland. In conjunction with his venture for cooperative mills Owen wanted the children to be given a good moral education so that they would be fit for work. His system was successful in producing obedient children with basic literacy and numeracy.

Samuel Wilderspin opened his first infant school in London in 1819, and went on to establish hundreds more. He published many works on the subject, and his work became the model for infant schools throughout England and further afield. Play was an important part of Wilderspin’s system of education. He is credited with inventing the playground. In 1823, Wilderspin published On the Importance of Educating the Infant Poor, based on the school. He began working for the Infant School Society the next year, informing others about his views. He also wrote The Infant System, for developing the physical, intellectual, and moral powers of all children from 1 to seven years of age.

Friedrich Fröbel was one of the most influential founders of kindergartens, and he coined the name in 1840.
Countess Theresa Brunszvik (1775–1861), who had known and been influenced by Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, was influenced by this example to open an Angyalkert (“angel garden” in Hungarian) on May 27, 1828, in her residence in Buda, the first of eleven care centers that she founded for young children. In 1836 she established an institute for the foundation of preschool centers. The idea became popular among the nobility and the middle class and was copied throughout the Kingdom of Hungary.

Friedrich Fröbel (1782–1852) opened a “play and activity” institute in 1837 in the village of Bad Blankenburg in the principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Thuringia, as an experimental social experience for children entering school. He renamed his institute Kindergarten (meaning garden of children) on June 28, 1840, reflecting his belief that children should be nurtured and nourished “like plants in a garden”. Fröbel introduced an educational environment into his school, in contrast to other earlier infant establishments, and is therefore credited with the creation of kindergartens. Around 1873, Caroline Wiseneder’s method for teaching instrumental music to young children was adopted by the national kindergarten movement in Germany.

Women trained by Fröbel opened kindergartens throughout Europe and around the world. The first kindergarten in the US was founded in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1856, and was conducted in German by Margaretha Meyer-Schurz.

Elizabeth Peabody founded the first English-language kindergarten in the US in 1860. The first free kindergarten in the US was founded in 1870 by Conrad Poppenhusen, a German industrialist and philanthropist, who also established the Poppenhusen Institute. The first publicly financed kindergarten in the US was established in St. Louis in 1873 by Susan Blow.

Canada’s first private kindergarten was opened by the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in 1870. By the end of the decade, they were common in large Canadian towns and cities. In 1882, The country’s first public-school kindergartens were established in Berlin, Ontario (modern Kitchener) at the Central School. In 1885, the Toronto Normal School (teacher training) opened a department for kindergarten teaching.

The Australian kindergarten movement emerged in the last decade of the nineteenth century as both a philanthropic and educational endeavour. The first free kindergarten in Australia was established in 1896 in Sydney, New South Wales, by the Kindergarten Union of NSW (now KU Children’s Services) led by reformer Maybanke Anderson.

American educator Elizabeth Harrison wrote extensively on the theory of early childhood education and worked to enhance educational standards for kindergarten teachers by establishing what became the National College of Education in 1886 (per Wikipedia).

First, a Story:

I have heard that they are forming a Kindergarten Heavy Metal band. They are going to call it AB/CD.

Second, a Song:

This is from Old Navy and

“At Old Navy, we believe in big dreams & bigger opportunities for the next generation. That’s why this season, we’re launching our cause platform, ONWard, to give back and pay it forward. And we’re kicking it off with a very cool collab…read on!

With the help of Pharrell Williams’ creative collective i am OTHER, we’re championing the heroes of back to school — the teachers — through a series of *epic* music videos. We hand picked 8 extraordinary teachers from all over the country to write, produce & perform original songs that spark some seeeriously next-level inspiration for the year ahead & beyond.  

The idea for the campaign started In 2016, when Chicago native Dwayne Reed created a viral sensation with his YouTube music video “Welcome to the 4th Grade.” The video, designed as a welcome letter to his incoming class, caught the attention of national media and became a hit with both students and parents. “Welcome to the 4th Grade” served as the inspiration for Old Navy’s ONward music project, and the impetus to find other amazing teachers to create more original songs.  With his new song created just for ONward “Welcome Back,” Mr. Reed provides a sequel to “Welcome to the 4th Grade,” with his signature dance moves and endearing swagger.
More about ONward!

It’s our way of paying  it forward in the community. By partnering with nonprofits, we’re aiming to empower the next generation with real-world skills, training, and job opportunities that will make a direct impact in communities across the country, and blaze a path forward to a brighter future. But this ain’t our first rodeo!

For over a decade, we’ve partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs — donating over $10 million in all! This back-to-school season we’re sponsoring a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising another $1 million. From 7/27-8/7, Old Navy will match in-store customer donations to Boys & Girls Clubs up to $350,000. You can donate at any Old Navy register at all U.S. & Canada stories *and* donate online at checkout.”

Here is Dwayne Reed in his video “Welcome Back to School”.  I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“All I really need to know… I learned in kindergarten.” – Robert Fulghum

Further to the Spin Smile, Frank Fowlie of Richmond, BC,  Canada writes:

“I hated doing spirals in flight training.

Best regards,

Dr. Frank Fowlie”

Have a great day!

Dave & Colleen

© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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