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.

Join us as we work to improve early childhood education.

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 3 - Issue 1

FroebelUSA.com Launched April 2003

The arrival of the new online business Froebel USA will increase the availability of Froebel Kindergarten materials for educators and parents. In the coming months, the site will also feature shopping in Korean and German languages.

Froebel USA will offer a wide selection of books, toys and educational materials from around the world. Only products that support a play-based, child-centered philosophy of education will be considered.

The new site has many new features including automated newsletters, e-mail reminders, "tell-a-friend", "what's new?", and an advanced secure checkout.

Please visit our store for Froebel Gifts and materials.

New Books at FroebelUSA.com

There are several exciting new books available at FroebelUSA.com. Intimate Triangle by Jeanne Rubin (2002, $46), Wholeness by Alex Gerber (2002, $20), and Structure in Nature is a Strategy for Design 1979, $25) by Peter Pearce. All three books are hard-to-find and yet they are so worthwhile for those interested in a deeper understanding of Froebel's philosophy.

Jeanne Rubin's in-depth research illuminated the connections between Froebel's work in crystallography, the materials of his Kindergarten, and the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. Alex Gerber's work underscores the need for a return to a Froebelian emphasis on wholeness in education. Peter Pearce's classic work (long out-of-print) gives vivid examples of the benefits of nature study for both art and the sciences.

Heiland Visits USA

On March 1st, 2003, Froebel Foundation USA director Scott Bultman traveled to Tallahassee, Florida to interview Prof. Dr. Helmut Heiland for an upcoming documentary on Friedrich Froebel. Prof. Dr. Heiland is the founder and recently retired director of the Froebel Research Center at Gerhard Mercator University in Duisburg, Germany. The formal interview lasted over one hour but their meeting took place over two days.

Prof. Dr. Heiland announced that the next International Froebel Symposium will be held in Berlin in June 2004. He also discussed the expansion of the International Froebel Society, of which Prof. Dr. Heiland is the president of membership.

Recent Events

Several Foundation board members attended the Playing for Keeps conference in CT (www.playingforkeeps.org).

In March, board members Dr. Martha Ording and Julie Bennett presented and all-day session at the OAEYC conference in Columbus, OH.

The Foundation will be collaborating with the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio for the May 17, 2003 Wright Plus tour. The theme of this year's event is Froebel education and speakers include Foundation director Scott Bultman and Jeanne Rubin, author of the recent book Intimate Triangle: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Froebel Kindergarten (PCBS, 2002).

Korean Kindergartens

The Korea-Froebel Co. continues to expand the Froebel Kindergarten method in South Korea. In September 2002, they opened the first full-day Kindergarten class in Seoul. Up to now, the Koreans have focused on tutor-based Froebel education. This new venture is a direct result of the cross-pollination taking place between the Korean and Canadian Froebel programs.

The Korean Kindergartens are a success and will continue to expand the number of rooms and students throughout 2003.

Caroline Louisa Frankenberg

A Froebelian Kindergartener Who Must Be Remembered
By Dr. Regina Weilbacher Rosier

The Encyclopedia of Early Childhood Education (1992) includes "Caroline Luis Frankenburg" (Caroline Louisa Frankenberg*) - along with Elizabeth Peabody, Kate Douglas Wiggin, Susan Blow, John Kraus and his wife Maria Kraus-Boelte - as being "among the many enthusiastic workers who established Kindergartens and developed institutes for the training of 'Kindergarteners' (i.e. kindergarten teachers)."

*Note: Writings about Caroline Louise Frankenberg use a variety of spellings for her first, middle, and last name. She is also referred to as 'Luise Frankenberg.' A Frankenberg family genealogy, which was prepared by Thomas L. Frankenberg, lists her as "Louise Caroline Sophia Suzette Frankenberg." Her living relatives speak of her as "Aunt Caroline." This article will use the name Caroline Louisa Frankenberg.

In 1901, photographs of Caroline Frankenberg and her school were on the front page of the Ohio State Journal with a headline article entitled, "Columbus, The Cradle of America's Kindergarten." The article included photographs and information about Mrs. Anna Ogden and her kindergarten teacher training school, as well as accounts of the efforts of several other women who promoted kindergarten education in Columbus, Ohio during the last decades of the 1800's.

Professional publications have varied in the amount of attention they have given Caroline Frankenberg. In some texts there is absolutely no mention of her whatsoever. In others, her name may appear in a sentence, in a paragraph, or as a footnote. Her work, and that of her brother Adolph Frankenberg, has received careful examination in the History of Early Childhood Education, by V. Celia Lascarides and Blyth F. Hinitz. The authors stated, "One wonders why Miss Frankenberg has been forgotten and not given credit for her work on behalf of the kindergarten in America." It is high time to focus a spotlight on her life and her role in bringing the Froebel Kindergarten to America. Click here to view the complete text with references.

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