The Japanese Journal of the historical studies of early childhood education and care
Online ISSN : 2432-1877
Print ISSN : 1881-5049
The Early Childhood Education Practice and Significance of Elizabeth Harrison, Conservative-Liberal in Late 19th and Early 20th Century, United States of America
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2020 Volume 15 Pages 1-14


The purpose of this paper is to identify the early childhood education practice and significance of Elizabeth Harrison, the leader of the Conservative-Liberal group in the American kindergarten movement. While the significance of Conservative and Liberal ideals is evident, the significance of the Conservative-Liberal group and their leader, Harrison is not as well-known as other groups. Harrison's early childhood education practice was characterized by three things:

The first was the trait of kindergarten education. It was a practice of flexible childcare and the use of new materials, without forcing an adultʼs view on the child.

Second, she made it possible for mothers to feel comfortable with the idea of kindergarten and provided them with a place to communicate with each other. She also guaranteed the same quality of education for mothers as she did for kindergarten teachers. Harrison's consideration for people of diverse backgrounds and values, regardless of their origins and class, was evident.

Third, the characteristic of the training program was that it was longer than the training period for ordinary kindergarten teachers at that time and consisted of a basic education course, as well as an advanced education course, where in-service education was integrated into the training school.

From the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries in the United States, Harrison was the first to organize Froebelist education into the best practice of their day, by focusing on children, taking into account the various aspects of the United States at that time, and being the first to achieve great success in kindergarten education, mother's education, teacher's training education, and in-service education, all of which, she, as a Conservative-Liberal, considered to be the most important aspects. This is her greatest achievement and significance.

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© 2020 Japanese Society for the Historical Studies of Early Childhood Education and Care
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