Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröebel was a German pedagogue, influenced by the Pestalozzi method, who developed by proposing the creation of the “kindergarten” through an integral method.
Froebel had a religious (Protestant) formation that marks his pedagogical conception, marked by respect for dignity the student has to be treated according to his dignity of the person, his freedom and respect for difference. The educator should be a reference figure for the demanding and flexible learner who guides their learning. His main contribution to the Pestalozzi method, with which he worked, is the development of the role of the educator, who must accompany the growth of students from childhood to adolescence.
In his pedagogical theory, based on kindergarten, the educator develops the various stages of student growth, which, according to each stage of growth, have different interests and needs. Thus, when in 1837 the first garden appeared, the children were compared as garden plant shoots, which should be cared for by the gardener. At this stage children express themselves mainly through sensory perception, language and play. The teacher should encourage communication as a way of linking perception in nature to the child’s life. The various stages of growth: childhood, childhood, puberty, youth, maturity were important for the formation of the individual.
In the development of the method are relevant three learning moments or operations: the action, which seeks to develop the relationship between boys and objects, the game, where the object is explored in different ways; and work, which gives social meaning to the action project experienced in the game.
Fröebel’s various contributions include the relevance of the learning object toy, the relevance of social and family relationships as social roles, the creation of learning modules for the construction of games.
- • The game is innate to children, so by play, the act of playing in the child is already a language, because through the action learns, uses a sign / body language, incorporates sounds, verbalizes emotions etc.
- • In play training he created resources to facilitate expression through “building blocks” used for creative activities such as cardboard clays, sands, etc.
- Expressions through drawing and activities involving movement and rhythms were important elements for the child to know,;
- Sound and rhythm games are often the first step for children to recognize themselves, to become aware of their own body members, and then to build motion sequences.
Frobel’s method also values stories, myths, legends, fairy tales and fables, as well as excursions and contact with nature and the surrounding environment to recognize.
Fröebel states in his work “The Education of Man” (1826):
“Education is the process by which the individual develops the self-conscious human condition, with all its powers functioning completely and harmoniously, in relation to nature and society. Moreover, it was the same process by which humanity as a whole originally rose above the animal plane and continued to develop into its present condition. It implies both individual and universal evolution. ”
This text illustrates the concept of educational act for Fröebel, where each object is simultaneously a unity and a part of a whole. Depending on the field of observation each thing (object) in the world is a unit and a part of the general.
In the field of sociability and relationships, Fröebel’s method is also valued so that each child understands that he is simultaneously an autonomous individual (unity) when considered in relation to himself, and a part of the whole (social actor) when considered in relation. . Through these relationships the method helps to build social action goals.
Fröebel Integral Method Principles:
- Education should be based on the natural evolution of the child’s activities.
- The aim of teaching is always to extract more from man than to put more and more into it. The child should not be started on any new subject until it is ripe for him.
- True development comes from spontaneous activities.
- In early child education, play is an essential process.
- School curricula should be based on the activities and interests of each phase of a child’s life.
- The great task of education is to help man to know himself, to live in peace with nature and in union with God (his conception of education was deeply contaminated by the religious idea)
The educational proposal of integral education, is sometimes characterized as a “curriculum of activities”, where starting from playful games seek to create meaningful learning in children.
Education is seen as a process of appropriation of the real (the world), through which transformative actions are created.
It is sometimes considered a spiral educational model, where students, in contact with the world, develop various meaningful experiences, translating these learning into different forms of communication, starting simply to the most complex, which includes thinking math abstract background.
From the contributions of Fröebel’s pedagogy to project theory we highlight:
• The dynamics of human learning are dynamic, creative and relational.
• Learning develops in stages, which are related to cognitive and affective capacities, in which those developed in early childhood are essential.