28 October 2005

Studying the creation of the Kindergarten

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Bill Lucas of Maya Design just pointed me to his recent post on Boxes and Arrows where he discusses the notion of experience design by drawing parallels to Friedrich Fröbel’s invention of the original Kindergarten.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, a handful of European theorists rejected the purely dispensational tenets of mainstream pedagogy in favor of a trend known as “natural education.”

The new doctrine called for nourishing a child’s innate curiosity through hands-on activity. In turn, proponents transformed the instructor’s role from lecturer to facilitator. They replaced rote learning with object lessons, extended the classroom beyond the walls of the schoolhouse, and encouraged sensory engagement in, and about, the environment.

According to Lucas’ thoughtful article, Fröbel’s historic innovation provides an informative case study for all who endeavor to compose experiential systems in the future.

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