2021 Volume 16 Pages 1-15
This study considers the reception of Froebel’s pedagogy in the Danish kindergarten movement from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. First, the paper outlines the historical pedigree of the Danish Froebelian kindergarten from its inception and examines Froebel’s pedagogy and kindergarten characteristics reflected in Mr. and Mrs. Juel-Hansen’s organization of Denmarkʼs first Froebelian kindergarten. Second, this paper elucidates the folk kindergarten movement, focusing on Hedevig Bagger, founder of Denmark’s first Froebelian Kindergarten Teacher Training Seminar. Third, the paper examines Hedevig Bagger’s receptivity of Froebelian pedagogy based on a literature review of Bauer-Petersen’s records from her time attending the training seminar, as well as edited materials regarding the conditions of contemporary kindergartens.
In the pedagogy of Erna and Niels Juel-Hansen’s kindergarten, play was highly valued. Their kindergarten encouraged versatile, harmonious, and natural child development through play. This philosophy was generally consistent with Froebel’s pedagogy. However, analysis of Froebel’s ideas at the level of Juel-Hansen’s kindergarten limits our understanding, in that a formalization of educational methods involving Spielgaben may be considered a misuse, perhaps even a profanation, of Froebel’s ideas.
In order to overcome this challenge, Hedevig Bagger devoted herself to spreading a broader understanding of Froebel’s pedagogy through her multifaceted educational activities. While she appreciated Froebel’s pedagogy, and how it highlighted the importance of play and age-appropriate education, she held a critical perspective regarding this practice. Specifically, it was thought that she trained kindergarten teachers to reflect his pedagogy in the kindergarten by emphasizing outdoor activities, using materials familiar to children’s daily life, striving to respect children’s freedom and spontaneous activities, rather than formalizing “Spielgaben”.