Meaning of Kindergarten Method: Kindergarten is a German word. “Kindergarten” is made up of two words i.e. 1) Kinder, and 2) Garten. Kinder means child and Garten means garden. So, kindergarten means the garden of children. School is said to be a garden and the children are supposed to be the plants of the garden (school). The plants and flowers of a garden grow freely under the care of the gardener. The children grow in school under the care of the teacher.
Kindergarten method is one of the Methods of Teaching. This method was introduced by Frederic William August Froebel. Frobel was in born in Germany in 1782. Froebel is Idealistic. His ideas were greatly influenced by certain philosophers who believed in Idealism. These philosophers were Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, etc. As a result of this, the views of Froebel reflect Idealism. Describing the views of Froebel, Rusk have stated that the philosophy which Frobel inherited was the idealism initiated by Kant and developed by Fichte, Schelling, Hegel.
Fundamental Principles of Kindergarten Method
- Self-Activity: Frobel is one of that a child is born with some instincts. He has therefore, to do something. These instincts for the child to be active and to do something. So, the child makes his self-development. Froebel thinks that children are active be nature. In other words, children are self-active.
- Learning by Planning: Early Childhood Education states that children like Play by nature. Playing is a natural activity among children. So, that the children may by taught by Play. By teaching children by Play, they will learn many things easily. ECCE feels that Play is purest, and most spiritual activity of the children and it gives joy contentment, rest and peace. So, children should taught by Play.
“Play is the purest, most spiritual activity of man at this stage and at the same time, typical of human life as a whole of the inner hidden natural life in man all things. It gives, therefore, joy, contentment, inner and outer rest, peace with the world.
- Social Participation: According to Froebel, children can develop their self-activities only in the society. Man is a social animal and as such the children can make their developments in the society. Froebel wants the children to become social animals. For this purpose, he says that collective plays are necessary for the children. By collective games, the children will develop the feeling of co-operation, sympathy and oneness. In this way, the children, will become social animals.
- Freedom in Education: Pre Primary Teacher Training is of the view that children should be given all freedom to learn, to play and to do work. The children like freedom by nature and such there should be full freedom for children in Teaching. The teacher should guide the children but he should not restrict their free development.
“Education must provide for the development for the free personality of every child, it must guide but no restrict, it must not interfere with the divinity in each child.”