KINDERGARTEN, the name of a new kind. of school or training-place for young children—name and thing imported from Germany. The principle was first propounded And the system invented by Friedrich Frbbel, b. 1782, d. 1852. He was early impressed with the insufficiency of the teaching and training given in the ordinary infant-school, And with the fact that the loving instinct of the mother remained merely an instinct, which required, for the training of the child, thoughtful guidance and direction. He .raw that the teaching in the infant-school was to a large extent traditional; that the selection of subjects and exercises depended on fashion, or upon the likings or prep -dices of the teacher, and not upon a genuine knowledge of the nature of children; and that the whole procedure was based upon an induction of facts and phenomena which bad been hastily made, and rested upon no firm ground of principle. He therefore set to work to study the ways and doings of infants from their birth, and to note down •systematically what kind of mental food and what 'kind of bodily activity nature prompted them at each stage of their existence to prefer. He also reached the follow mg principles: (a) That education means a harmonious development of all the bodily and mental powers; (b) that the spontaneous is the raw material and the only element 'hat is valuable in education, .and that the teacher must connect all his instruction with these and graft it upon the spontaneous activity of the child; (c) that the work of the is not to give knowledge ab extra, but to supply material, means, and opportu mities in a rational and harmonious order for the child's mind spontaneously to work upon; and (d) that in the presentation of their materials or occupations there must be no break (in vaunt ?ion dater saltus), because all occupations which train must be developed out of each other. The early materials for instruction are called gifts, because they are presented to the child only when his nature and stage of development call for them. The province of the educator is to map out the world of early childhood, and to engineer—that is, to give each step in—the paths to knowledge or power in each sub ject; the province of the teacher is to apply this general knowledge to particular cases, and with loving care and delighted patience to provide the right mental food—the most suitable activities for each hour and stage of development. His complete aim is the sys
tematic cultivation of all the powers in complete equilibrium. Hence, while the infant school goes too much into work and drill, Frobel's system calls for attention to the indi vidual child; he weaves the work into "play" (spontaneous activity), and he evolves "drill" out of the flee individual desire for society. Hence FriThel's large use of song And dance. He respects freedom and the right order of development so much that he not give a word tio' a child until a mental necessity and desire had been created by 'An ordered set of experiences for that word; and he cultivates the senses and the hand with the utmost care, so that perfectly accurate perception and comparison may produce trueand clear conceptions, which again give rise 'to true and just judgments. the byways to untruth," says Miss Shirreff Chapman & Hall, 1876), "such as exaggeration, confusedness of mind, inaccuracy of speech, are cut off.". The child is not taught, but led by a set of ordered experiences to the perception of the prin ciples of number (arithmetic) and of space (geometry); and his senses and powers of hand And eye are cultivated by an elaborate series of exercises. The steps in FrObel's system Are: (1) Spontaneity or play, which, however, in a child is always serious, and never frivolous; (2) direction of this towards external fact and truth; (3) weaving of spontan -cons powers into ordinary occupations; (4) development into self-culture., independent -action. a love of knowledge, beauty, and society. The process, like the process of nature, is slow, tranquil, and organic; but no part of it requires to be undone. The •child sees, imitates, or reproduces and invents new forms; these are the three steps in -each subject for each pupil. Its most earnest disciples it the name of The Neu.
Education The system has made great way in America, and is now making way in England. 'There is a Frobcl society which consists of a large number of thinkers and workers in education. The London and Birmingham school-boards have introduced the system; and several training-colleges are working upon its lines. The best English books at yet on the subject are Laurie's Kindergarten Manual ; Miss Shirreff's Kindergarten , AIeerwart's Music for the Kindergarten; Kohler's Praxis, translated by Miss Gurney.