Produced by Ella Steigelman, founding member of the California Kindergarten Training School. Kindergarten teacher’s workbook. 1890
Froebel’s system departed from traditional methods of schooling in emphasizing things rather than words, and doing rather than talking or memorizing. This group of early twentieth-century workbooks, which demonstrate Froebel’s educational philosophy, were all prepared by women, whom many reformers at the time considered more effective than men as educators of infants. The distinct visual character of each workbook indicates the range of creative expression that was possible using Froebel’s Gifts-a system of nonrepresentational objects and materials that aimed to develop recognition and appreciation of natural harmony. These early exercises in abstraction and pattern making paralleled many of the activities adopted by progressive schools of art and design in the early twentieth century.
Learn more at MoMA.org/centuryofthechild

Produced by Ella Steigelman, founding member of the California Kindergarten Training School. Kindergarten teacher’s workbook. 1890

Froebel’s system departed from traditional methods of schooling in emphasizing things rather than words, and doing rather than talking or memorizing. This group of early twentieth-century workbooks, which demonstrate Froebel’s educational philosophy, were all prepared by women, whom many reformers at the time considered more effective than men as educators of infants. The distinct visual character of each workbook indicates the range of creative expression that was possible using Froebel’s Gifts-a system of nonrepresentational objects and materials that aimed to develop recognition and appreciation of natural harmony. These early exercises in abstraction and pattern making paralleled many of the activities adopted by progressive schools of art and design in the early twentieth century.

Learn more at MoMA.org/centuryofthechild

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Get your daily dose of design from the MoMA exhibition Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000. During each of the 100 days of the exhibition we will showcase an object featured in the show.

To find out more about Century of the Child visit MoMA.org/centuryofthechild.

Purchase the exhibition catalogue on MoMAStore.org or get the digital edition for the iPad on iTunes.

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