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Friedrich Froebel
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    (April 21, 1782-June 21, 1852)
    Born in Oberweissbach, Germany
    Pioneer of pre-school education
    Coined the word 'kindergarten'
    Designed geometric building blocks and pattern activity blocks known as 'Froebel Gifts'
    He left school without obtaining a teaching certificate.
    His second wife was three decades younger than him.
    The Prussian government banned kindergartens for 'destructive tendencies in the areas of religion and politics.' (1851)
    Ironically, Prussia's education minister apparently had been alarmed at the practices at a high school run by Froebel's nephew, Karl, and had confused the two.
    His mother died when he was nine months old.
    He emphasized the idea of learning through play.
    One of his students founded the first kindergarten in the US at Watertown, Wisconsin (1860).
    Froebel Gifts were an influence on the Bauhaus school of architecture in Germany and Frank Lloyd Wright in the US.
    He inspired the Dutch verb 'froebelen,' meaning to engage in arts and crafts.

Credit: C. Fishel

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