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Fwa Froebel Essay

1583 words - 6 pages

Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel was born on April 21, 1782 in Oberweissbach, Germany, a small village in the Thuringian Forest. His father was a Lutheran Protestant minister who had a large congregation and little time for five sons and his mother died when he was nine months old making his childhood rather traumatic and depressing. These distressing childhood experiences shaped him into the teacher he would one day become. His upbringing was facilitated by his older brothers and the servants that ran his father’s household but lacked a feminine presence that Froebel desperately desired. This unfulfilled need of a mothers influence and love would create the foundation on which Froebel would build his idea and create a special early childhood environment, Kindergarten.
From his birth to the age of ten Froebel lived in his father’s care and was relatively isolated from the world. Being the youngest of five sons who were much older Froebel found himself shut inside a depressing parsonage much of the time with little or no company. These circumstances led him to become introspective and withdrawn socially from others. School was a rather unpleasant chore; arithmetic was the only subject that came easily to Friedrich. His father’s attempts to teach him to read only frustrated both teacher and pupil. His father regarded him as a “hopelessly stupid’’ boy, unfitted for a university education. There was some basis for the harsh judgment. The ability to express himself adequately or gracefully in speech or writing was always a stumbling block for Froebel. Grammar was a constant barrier and his repeated efforts in learning Latin were unsuccessful. (Downs 13) His real education came from listening to his father council his parishioners while he sat quietly reading a book in the corner. These discussions of divine law would be the base of Froebel’s views on life and ultimately his views on early childhood education.
At the age of ten his mother’s brother visited the parsonage and took an interest in young Friedrich. The admiration was mutual as Friedrich suddenly found himself out of his father’s care and living with his uncle Herr Hoffman. For the next five years Froebel enjoyed a stable and caring household to grow up in and an excellent education at the local school. At the age of 15 he found himself again in the care of his father and while staying there, noting his affinity for the natural sciences, decided he should become an apprentice with a forester where he would learn forestry, geometry and land surveying in preparation for later becoming an agriculturist. (Downs 14) The apprenticeship was not as successful as Friedrich might have hoped. His instructor had learned his craft through years at experience. While his knowledge over his subject was rather extensive, he was an inadequate teacher who was also absent for long periods of time. The two years as an apprentice were spent reading books about botany and studying forest nature. These...

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