Our Mission

The Froebel Foundation USA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation created in 2001 to preserve the history of the Froebel kindergarten and to promote the educational ideas of Friedrich Froebel to the world at large.

We want to hear from others who are working toward the same goal so that we communicate the message to the widest audience possible.

Please call, fax or email us at the numbers below.

Froebel USA
O-78 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Toll-free: 888-573-3436


Volume 2 - Issue 2

1st Annual Summer Workshop

On July 25-27, 2002 the Froebel Foundation USA hosted the first meeting of US Froebelians in over 60 years. The Froebel Summer Workshop offered three days of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on training of Froebel's education method. With over 40 attendees and presenters, the event was a successful first step toward promoting Froebel education to the general public.

The workshop offered participants the opportunity to observe children playing with the Gifts and Occupations under the skillful supervision of three teachers trained at the Froebel School in Mississauga, Ontario. Wendy Hart and Finella Scholtz, both recently retired from the school. Both Wendy and Finella have over 18 years experience teaching in a Froebelian environment.

The third teacher, Cameron Dalgleish, currently teaches at the school and has the distinction of having attended the Froebel School from age 3 to 13. All three teachers developed their skills under the leadership of Dr. Barbara Corbett and demonstrated the abilities needed to properly use the Froebel materials.

Each of the three days was intended as a complete whole with the idea that attendees could sample only one day or all three. Each day began with a lecture from Scott Bultman followed by demonstrations with the children and discussions with the Canadian teachers. After lunch, a presenter lectured on various aspects of the Froebel method. For more information on the presenters and lectures, please visit our website in the Events page: www.froebelfoundation.org.

On Thursday afternoon, Scott Bultman exhibited a portion of the Froebel archive at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Unlike many museum exhibits participants were allowed to handle and examine the materials. Following the exhibits the workshop participants enjoyed a reception at the Children's Museum and a private tour of the Meyer May House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Friday's activities took place at the Frederick Meijer Gardens. The beautiful surroundings led to some exciting Gift play with the children. Presenter Bradford Hansen-Smith led an exploration of geometry through folding paper plates and Dr. Norman Lownds gave virtual tour of the 4-H children's gardens at Michigan State University.

Saturday's activities culminated in a creative movement workshop presented by Rob Reider and an intimate discussion of the future of Froebel education. Participants commented on how much they enjoyed the variety of activities and hoped for another workshop in the near future.

The Foundation board is now planning next summer's workshop. Anyone interested in attending should call or e-mail the Foundation office for more information.

Click here for more.

Berlin Conference

On June 20, 2002, Berlin welcomed Froebel researchers from around the world. The 4th International Froebel Symposium was hosted by Bibliothek für Bildungsgeschichtliche Forschung in conjunction with Dr. Helmut Heiland from the Froebel Research Center in Duisburg, Germany. The event took place near the former Berlin wall in what was once East Germany.

While the papers were offered in German, attendees and presenters came from Japan, Korea, Russia, Germany and the United States. Over the course of the three days, paper topics addressed issues of history, philosophy and educational method.

The symposium is presented every other year, but with Dr. Heiland's imminent retirement, rumors circulated that this might be the last. The mood was otherwise very warm and friendly. The subject matter was seriously and passionately discussed, while the environment and attire was comfortable.

There was much interest in Froebel activities around the world, especially in the US and Korea. Scott Bultman and the delegation from Korea-Froebel were well-received by all. Plans were made to make Dr. Heiland's books available in English. The upcoming 2003 US Froebel Symposium was also announced.

There was plenty of socializing. On the first evening, symposium attendees dined together on a restaurant aboard a small river boat. Discussing Froebel over beers in a scenic German setting is a perfect way to spend a June evening.

The event concluded with the hope that everyone would return to Berlin in 2004. In the meantime, the Froebel Foundation USA plans to make English translations of the papers available as soon as publication rights are secured in 2002.

Click here for more.

Dr. Barbara Corbett Visits Seoul

In April, Dr. Barbara Corbett and two staff members (teacher Anneli Charron and vice-principal Gordon Patterson), flew to Korea as the guests of Mr. Chung. For three days, the Canadian group toured the various departments of Korea-Froebel Co. LTD as well as tourist sites around Seoul. Dr. Corbett gave a speech at Seoul National University and the group visited the University laboratory kindergarten.

Plans were announced to publish Dr. Corbett's writings in Korea and to promote a "sister relationship" for the advancement of Froebel education. A teacher exchange program was also established. The first pair of Korean teachers returned from Mississauga in June. The importance of the Canadian-Korean relationship cannot be overstated. The influences of each culture have already begun to affect the other.

Inventing Kindergarten now out in Paperback

Norman Brosterman's wonderful book, "Inventing Kindergarten" is now available as a paperback at a significantly lower price. We've also added "Childhood 1892-1992" by Sue Wortham, as well as Michael Schneider's fascinating book "A Beginneršs Guide to Constructing the Universe". (See below) Available online at: www.froebelgifts.com.

Website Updates

The Froebel Foundation website continues to grow with the addition of German and Korean language versions. Share your thoughts with fellow Froebelians on our new messageboard. Just click on the "forum" link.

Froebel's View of the Universe Simplified

Michael Schneider's amazing book, A Beginneršs Guide to Constructing the Universe (Harper Collins, 1995) could have been lifted directly from Froebel's own lecture notes. However, Mr. Schneider had never heard of Froebel before his recent conversations with Scott Bultman from the Froebel Foundation USA.

Mr. Schneider has done the world a great service by simplifying Froebel's deep understanding of the mathematical universe for the rest of us. The book explores what is sometimes called sacred geometry ­ the properties of number and their significance in nature, design and history. This book is a fascinating look at the meaning of numbers and how they are reflected in our world. Fans of Froebel will immediately see the connection to the Kindergarten method.

Michael Schneider knows his subject well and, most importantly, how to make it accessible to novices and experts alike. After a long career in education on the East Coast, Schneider relocated to the Bay Area in California, there he has created a series of workshops and seminars related to mathematics. His essence as a human being (and his approach to education) is extremely Froebelian. Since his contact with the Froebel Foundation USA, Michael Schneider has begun to study Froebel's writings.

The book, now in its 14th printing, has been published in other languages (interesting enough in Korean) and has been extremely popular. The book is available at a discount through the www.froebelgifts.com website.

Korea-Froebel spins off Training School

Froebel Foundation USA director, Scott Bultman, and his brother, Peter Bultman of Uncle Goose Toys, attended the dedication ceremony for the new Froebel Education Institute in Seoul Korea on March 23, 2002. The new company was spun off from Korea-Froebel Co. LTD as an independent entity.

Mr. Tae-Young Kwon, the head of the teacher-training program, is the new company president. The Froebel Education Institute is expanding its offerings to include an in-house kindergarten school and a special English Language program supervised by Mrs. Gill-Sook Bhang. Mr. In-Chul Chung, chairman of Korea-Froebel, gave a rousing speech in which he announced that 50% of the new venture's profits would be donated to the
poor and orphaned children of Korea.

During the visit, Scott Bultman gave a speech at Pai Chai University in Dae Jon ­ the "Silicon Valley of South Korea." This affluent and highly-educated region has embraced Froebel education for its children. The Bultmans toured the laboratory kindergarten at Pai Chai and observed the children's use of the Froebel materials. They were honored by a private luncheon hosted by the President of the Univeristy, Dr. Kang Soo Park.

Education begins in concrete experiences. That which we have ourselves experienced makes a deep impression; for in experience three things are always present: the particular fact, its universal application, and the relationship of both to the person who has the experience.
F. Froebel, Mottoes and Commentaries

All is unity; all rests in unity; all springs from unity, strives for and leads up to unity, and returns to unity at last. This striving in unity and after unity is the cause of the several aspects of human life.
Friedrich Froebel Yearbook, by Fanny Chapin

That there must exist somewhere some beautifully simple and certain way of freeing human life from contradiction, or, as I then spake out my thoughts in words, some means of restoring to man, himself, at peace eternally; and that to seek out this way should be the vocation of my life.
Friedrich Froebel Yearbook, by Fanny Chapin

Never forget that the essential business of the school is not so much to teach and to communicate a variety and multiplicity of things, as it is to give prominence to the ever-living unity that is in all things.
Friedrich Froebel Yearbook, by Fanny Chapin

philosophy | history | community | projects | bookstore | contact | events | forum | deutsch