Philosophy of Early Childhood Education

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Early childhood educational philosophy is a branch of educational philosophy that focus on the idea of how to help the preschool children learn about all the knowledge and skills that may prepare them for the formal primary school education.

The Play-based early childhood educational philosophy proposed by Froebel, advocate learning through play and had since then became the main stream for preschool methodology.

Froebel, the Father of Early childhood education

Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel (Fröbel) (1782 – 1852), the German educationist, is the inventor of kindergarten system (Smith, 1997). He had discovered and acknowledged that there is significant brain development between birth and three years old. He became the first to introduce early childhood education before seven years old.

His educational philosophy is (Froebel, 2015) :

  • Human are creative beings who are able to visualize and imagine.
  • Playing is leads to meaningful learning.

Froebel’s Play-Based Early Childhood Pedagogy

He had developed and tested a radically new educational method and philosophy based on structured, activity based learning. In 1837, Froebel moved to Bad Blankenburg and established his Play and Activity Institute. He then renamed it as  Kindergarten in 1840 .

(Source: Froebel

Kindergarten has three essential parts:

  • creative play, which Froebel called gifts and occupations) Read More on Froebel’s Gifts>>
  • singing and dancing for healthy activity
  • observing and nurturing plants in a garden for stimulating awareness of the natural world (Froebel, 2015)

He’s approach has significant influence on the early childhood educationists such as Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf Schools) and the later play-based early childhood pedagogy such as Reggio Emilia Approach, Vygotsky, etc.

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