Kinder Garden in Victorian London

Upon reading “The Kinder Garden” ( an extract from the book Dirty Old London) I was pleasantly surprised with the Kinder Garden of the victorian era. The article starts by pointing out that it was realized how smart children are at such young ages. They mention children being fascinated with constructing and deconstructing (Jackson). I was fascinated to see the philosophy of learning through play was  implemented during these times. When learning about these same philosophies in my classes about education, I though they were a more modern idea then one that started in the Victorian Era. The article mentions numerous ways the teacher was able to teach through play. For instance the children were in charge of their lessons. They were given options of toys to use and were in charge of their own learning (Jackson).  The teacher even went off of children’s interests and used them to their advantage. For instance children liked to use scissors and cut things The teacher used this to their advantage by having the children make mathematical figures out of paper and then use their scissors to cut through the paper. This would create a pattern and would teach the child about the mathematical concept (Jackson). The article even mentions song and dance that was taught in the kinder garden that helped children’s large and small motor skills grow as well (Jackson). The article concludes that every child was happy and busy in the kinder garden. Instead of dreading school, children were interested and happy to be there. This victorian idea is one that teachers and teacher candidates (like myself) believe in to this day. It was interesting to find out that learning through play was not a new idea but one that everyone has known all along.

2 thoughts on “Kinder Garden in Victorian London

  1. Hi Lizzie,
    That’s fascinating! I’m glad you chose this topic. Did the article say more about what type of school this was, and what the the socioeconomic background or gender of the students were? It would be interesting to know if this style of teaching was universal across London, or just in wealthier districts (or just for boys).

  2. This is a very interesting concept! I think it’s really cool that Kinder Garden teachers use concepts that teachers in Victorian London used so long ago. I worked in a day care that approached learning in a very similar fashion. All of the toys and learning tools were chosen specifically to ignite ideas in children that are new and exciting to them, but help them to tone in on fine motor skills and intellectual skills that will grow and flourish as they age.

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