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[Ger.,=garden of children], system of preschool education. Friedrich FroebelFroebel, Friedrich Wilhelm August
, 1782–1852, German educator and founder of the kindergarten system. He had an unhappy childhood and very little formal schooling, learning what he could from wide reading and close observation of nature; he studied for a short time at the
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 designed (1837) the kindergarten to provide an educational situation less formal than that of the elementary school but one in which children's creative play instincts would be organized constructively. Through the use of songs, stories, games, simple manual materials, and group activities for which the furnishings of a kindergarten are adapted, children develop habits of cooperation and application, and the transition from home to school is thought to be made less formidable.

The theory implicit in the kindergarten system, that education develops through expression and social cooperation, has greatly influenced elementary education and parent educationparent education,
movement to help parents' understanding of the problems of children at home and in the school. Much parent education is carried on through the channels of adult education, both formally and informally.
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, especially in the United States, where kindergartens are generally a part of public school systems. The first kindergarten in America was founded (1856) at Watertown, Wis., by Margaretta Schurz, wife of Carl SchurzSchurz, Carl
, 1829–1906, American political leader, b. Germany. He studied at the Univ. of Bonn and participated in the revolutionary uprisings of 1848–49 in Germany.
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. It was followed by a school opened (1861) by Elizabeth Peabody in Boston and by a public kindergarten established (1873) in St. Louis by Susan Blow.

See also nursery schoolnursery school,
educational institution for children from two to four years of age. It is distinguishable from a day nursery in that it serves children of both working and nonworking parents, rarely receives public funds, and has as its primary objective to promote the social
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See C. Goode, World of Kindergarten (1970); W. Barbe, Basic Skills in Kindergarten (1980); S. Stuart, Teaching and Reaching (1983); B. Spodek, Today's Kindergarten (1986); N. Brosterman, Inventing Kindergarten (1997).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


a class or small school for young children, usually between the ages of four and six to prepare them for primary education. Often shortened (in Australia) to kinder or (in Australia and New Zealand) to kindy or kindie
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Analysis of kindergartner's responses indicated a significant gain in total self-concept (17.472 to 19.084), a significant gain in self-efficacy (7.528 to 8.495), and a significant gain in self-esteem (9.944 to 10.589).
"I actually started typing it and I actually used my kindergartners as a sounding board," said Vlasis, 39, of Lake Zurich.
The classroom I filmed had 22 kindergartners and one teacher.
Parents of kindergartners from all over Israel were surprised to discover that Israel's Education Ministry had reported some of the parents' country of birth as "Judea and Samaria" or the "Palestinian Authority."
WORCESTER - The kindergartners from Belmont Street Community School call an eggplant a "purple squash" and confuse the words "potato" and "tomato."
Rex, a lime green chameleon, rested comfortably on a tree stand as kindergartners gawked at him Wednesday at Woodland Primary School in Gages Lake.
Throughout, the work flowed with Bourne's touches of wit--in one scene, while one manservant dresses his master, another undresses his, all with slick, acrobatic moves that kindergartners would adore.
Is it really too much to ask that kindergartners at least be spared the corruption of learning how to roll condoms onto bananas?
One of the most unnerving spaces was a schoolroom with a ceiling so low that most kindergartners would have been uncomfortable, but anyone who could take it could cr awl all the way in and scrawl a message on the chalkboard.
Kindergartners, first, and second graders depicted parents as heroes and comforters.
After a rice cake-making event at the kindergarten, 335 kindergartners and parents were rushed to hospitals Saturday after they began vomiting and showing other symptoms of food poisoning.
* Kindergartners continue to ask questions about physical differences, and they can begin to understand the explanations for these differences.