Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Means And Ways of Occupation In The Kindergarten

Portrait of Friedrich Froebel.
       Before entering into a description of the various means of occupation in the Kindergarten, it will be proper to state that Friedrich Froebel, the inventor of this system of education, calls all occupations in the Kindergarten "plays" and the materials for occupation "gifts." In these systematically-arranged plays, Froebel starts from the fundamental idea that all education should begin with a development of the desire for activity in mite in the child: and he has been, and is universally acknowledged, eminently successful in this part of his important work. Each step in the course of training is a logical sequence of the preceding one; and the various means of occupation are developed, one from another, in a perfectly natural order, beginning with the simplest and concluding with the most difficult features in all the varieties of occupation. Together they satisfy all the demands of the child's nature in respect both to mental and physical culture, and lay the surest foundation for all subsequent education in school and in life.
       The time of occupation in the Kindergarten is three or four hours on each week day, usually from 1) to 12 or 1 o'clock; and the time allotted to each separate occupation, including the changes from one to another, is from twenty to thirty minutes. Movement plays, so called, in which the children imitate the flying of birds, swimming of fish, the motions of sowing, mowing, threshing, etc., in connection with light gymnastics and vocal exercises, alternate with the plays performed in a sitting posture. All occupations that can be engaged in out of doors, are carried on in the garden whenever the season and weather permit.
       For the reason that the various occupations, as previously stated, are so intimately connected, glowing, as it were, out of each other, they are introduced very gradually, so as to afford each child ample time to become sufficiently prepared for the next step, without interfering, however, with the rapid progress of such as are of a more advanced age, or endowed with stronger or better developed
       The following is a list of the gifts or material and means of occupation in the Kindergarten, each of which will be specified and described separately hereafter.
       There are altogether twenty gifts, according to Froebel's general definition of the term, although the first six only are usually designated by this name. We choose to follow r the classification and nomenclature of the great inventor of the system.

  1. Six rubber balls, covered with a net work of twine or worsted of various colors.
  2. Sphere, cube and cylinder, made of wood.
  3. Large cube, consisting of eight small cubes.
  4. Large cube, consisting of eight oblong parts.
  5. Large cube, consisting of whole, half, and quarter cubes.
  6. Large cube consisting of doubly divided oblongs.
  7. Square and triangular tablets for laying of figures.
  8. Sticks for laying of figures.
  9. Whole and half rings for laying of figures.
  10. Material for drawing.
  11. Material for perforating.
  12. Material for embroidering.
  13. Material for cutting of paper and combining pieces.
  14. Material for braiding.
  15. Slats for interlacing.
  16. The slat with many links.
  17. Material for intertwining.
  18. Material for paper folding.
  19. Material for peas-work.
  20. Material for modeling.

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