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Young children, the outdoors and nature
Young children, the outdoors and nature

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1.1 Finding out about Froebel

As Froebel was born more than 200 years ago, in an area of Europe we now call Germany, writing in his first language of German, some historical detective work is needed to uncover his educational ideas. Froebel’s most famous book, The Education of Man, was originally published in 1826 and it focused on how young children should be taught and supported in their development. It was more than sixty years before the work was translated into English which then enabled his ideas to spread to a much wider audience. This book is important as it sets out Froebel’s ideas about human development and how he thought this thinking should influence educational practice from the earliest years. In addition to this text and other books about young children’s learning, he also wrote many letters discussing his ideas. It is fortunate that this correspondence is still accessible today through the Froebel Archive. This important source of information on Froebel is held at the library of The University of Roehampton and it is also possible to access it online (a link is given in Activity 1 in the next section).

The Froebel Archive is looked after, and curated, by the archivist Kornelia Cepok. It consists of a range of books, photographs and objects all linked to Froebel’s educational legacy. It was established in 1977 and is an important resource centre for Froebelian scholars and students alike. In the following video, Kornelia introduces the archive and talks about some of the things it contains.

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