Educational Philosophy and Practices of Pestalozzi and Froebel


compare and contrast the educational philosophy and practices of 2 reformers (Pestalozzi, Froebel, or Montessori). Also examine whether or not their views on education and the nature of children alig

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Educational Philosophy and Practices of Pestalozzi and Froebel

Johann Pestalozzi is one of the greatest educational reformers in history. Pestalozzi was greatly influenced by Rousseau’s ideas on pedagogy of education (Gutek, 1995). Pestalozzi’s educational philosophy focused on a type of education that addressed the distinct characteristics of an individual child. According to Pestalozzi, the main goal of education was to inculcate in each child an independent mind that would enable them solve problems independently. He called for participatory learning practices such as drawing, writing, map-making, which would enable students to gain insights or knowledge at their own pace. He encouraged learning through experience and observation (Gutek, 1995). He held the idea that schools should teach practical skills to children to enable them become successful in life. He also encouraged provision of education across social and economic classes. His methods discouraged the use of punishments as a tool for motivation.

Friedrich Froebel’s educational philosophy and practice greatly influenced early childhood education. Like Pestalozzi, Froebel believed that children should acquire knowledge and skills at their own pace. Froebel advocated for similar learning methods to those put forward by Pestalozzi. According to him, learning through experience or self-activity was critical in education. Froebel supported the concept of teacher education just like Pestalozzi. He believed that knowledgeable adults would best cater to the needs of children in the education sector (Graham, 2009).

The educational philosophy and practices of Pestalozzi and Froebel were slightly different. Froebel strongly believed that the early years of any given child were particularly significant in determining the child’s later education. This was not the case with Pestalozzi although he focused on learning in children. In Froebel’s educational philosophy, there was a greater emphasis on learning that takes place through play. Although Pestalozzi recognizes the importance of play in child development, play itself does not comprise a significant part of learning. Froebel also believed strongly in a spiritual essence present in every child. To him, divinity was of great importance to children (Graham, 2009). Pestalozzi disregarded this in his educational philosophy and practice. Both of the educational philosophers’ views on education and the nature of children align. They both believe that children should learn through experiences, and both believe that education should focus on developing each child individually.


Graham, D. L. (2009). Teaching redemptively: Bringing grace and truth into your classroom        (2nd ed.). Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications.

Gutek, G. L. (1995). A history of Western educational experience (2nd ed.) Long Grove, IL:        Waveland Press

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