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The present volume is a revised edition of the book
which under the title

Moral Culture of Infancy


Kindergarten Guide

has been in the market since 1860, latterly published by
Messrs. J. W. SCHERMERHORN & Co. of New York.

October 1st, 1877.

Elizabeth P. Peabody.
Mary Mann.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the

Southern District of New York,



CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 1, 1869.

SINCE publishing the first edition of what I meant to be a Guide to those who undertake to give Kindergarten culture, I have been in Europe, and made a special study of the Kindergartens established in Hamburgh, Berlin, and Dresden, by Froebel himself, and his most distinguished scholars.

This study has more and more confirmed the conviction I derived from reading Froebel's " Essay on the Education of the Human Race;” viz., that no greater benefit could be conferred on our country, than the far and wide spread of Kindergartens, as an underpinning, so to say, of our noble public-school system, giving adequate moral foundation, thoroughness, and practicality to the national education.

But I also learned that no book could be written that would make an expert Kindergartner. It was the careful observations and earnest experiments of half a century, that gave to Froebel himself that profound knowledge of childhood which enabled him to formulate the principles, deduce the rules, and call forth the spirit of a genuine art of education. But though no genius and industry less than his own could have originated this art, any soundly cultured, intelligent, genial-tempered young woman, who loves children, can appreciate and practise it, if--and only if- she is trained by a living teacher engaged in the work at the u oment.

This, I myself have proved experimentally also ; for my kuowledge was first obtained only from books. I had the best manuals and guides, but did not know that they were intended merely for the convenience of already trained teachers; and that they necessarily omitted the characteris


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tic peculiarity of the method, because written words cannot do justice to the fine steps by which the child is led to gradually carry its total spontaneity forwards, on every plane of its little life, - artistic, moral, and intellectual.

For there is nothing merely mechanical and imitative in true Kindergarten culture: the child acts “from within outwards” in every thing it does, however seemingly trifling; and, if we use the word artist in its most general sense, becomes an artist from the beginning. Thus is prevented that too common divorce between the powers of thinking and acting, whose harmony ensures ability in a strict proportion to intellectual capacity. Consciousness of aim, and enjoyment of success, at every step develop new ideas and power, and fulfil that law of nature by which thought tends to rush into act instantly, as in childish play. Nothing is more melancholy in experience than to see people drifting instead of living; but this general failure of human life is owing to the fact, that the unassisted child is baffled in its will and balked of its desires, by a want of that steadiness of aim, perseverance, and knowledge of how to adapt means to ends, which adult sympathy and wisdom should supply; and from want of which it loses the original harmony of its being in the process of its growth. Kindergarten culture is the adult mind entering into the child's world, and appreciating nature's intention as displayed in every impulse of spontaneous life; and so directing it that the joy of success may be ensured at every step, and artistic things be actually produced, which gives the self-reliance and conscious intelligence that ought to discriminate human power from blind force. The only mistake in idea which I see that I made in m

my “ Guide,” was making it the object of the teacher to cultivate the individualities of each pupil especially. This is not even desirable, and would require the intuitive genius of Froebel in every single teacher. In a true art of education, individualities will be tenderly respected; but it is not what is individual, Lut what is common to all (or that universal of

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