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The Garden of Infants

Feb 28 2011
Instructions
Illustration, child in a garden, 1902, from Henrietta Eliot [...]

"Kindergarten"—the name gives it away. Advocated by the Prussian education reformer Friedrich Fröbel as an environment in which to nurture children like young plants in a garden, kindergarten came to the U.S. with German immigrants in the late 19th century. The first English-language kindergarten opened in 1860. Answer these questions about the institution.


  1. Which of these was not one of the primary aims of the kindergarten movement in 19th-century America?
    A.

    To guide the child’s inclination to play with objects in the natural world, through a series of progressive exercises.

    B.

    To train the child's manual dexterity at an early, formative age

    C.

    To assimilate and socialize immigrant and poor children into American life

    D.

    To give young children, aged 4-7, a head start in learning the content of traditional school instruction, which they would soon encounter when they entered primary school


  2. Transcendentalist and educational reformer Elizabeth Palmer Peabody lectured extensively on Fröbel's kindergartens. In doing this, she converted a Massachusetts game and toy company to her cause. That company became a prime supporter of kindergartens and manufactured and sold the play materials that Fröbel had designed. Who owned that company?
    A.

    The Parker brothers, George, Charles, and Edward

    B.

    Milton Bradley

    C.

    Albert Schoenhut

    D.

    The Hassenfeld brothers, Henry and Helal


  3. Fröbel’s kindergarten system made use of a series of 20 "gifts" embodied in boxes containing objects that the children used in programmed lessons. Which of the following was not one of these "gifts?"
    A.

    A box containing a white cloth embroidered with the letters of the alphabet

    B.

    A box containing a small sphere, a cylinder, and a cube, suspended on strings from a horizontal railing over a small wooden platform

    C.

    A box containing 36 wire rings and 72 wire half-rings

    D.

    A box containing four jointed sets of wooden slats, one set of which was of four links, one of six links, one of eight, and one of 16


  4. By 1890, schisms had developed in the kindergarten movement in America over several issues. Which of the following was not one of these?
    A.

    Should they keep precisely to Fröbel's programmed activities or should these activities be modified or replaced?

    B.

    Should they focus the movement's efforts on establishing kindergartens as part of the public school systems or should they teach all mothers the aims and techniques of the kindergarten so that they could implement them at home?

    C.

    Should they purge kindergartens of the goals and lessons that were meant to develop children's specifically religious sensibilities?

    D.

    Were women better suited to being kindergarten teachers than men?