The Protestant Missions — March 29, 2011 at 7:24 am

The Young Men’s Christian Association formed!

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Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (or Froebel) (German pronunciation: was a German pedagogue, a student of Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He developed the concept of the “kindergarten”, and also coined the word now used in German and English.

Christian students were to be found in other than Christian schools, A graduate of the Doshisha, who was continuing his studies in the First Higher Middle School in Tokyo, conceived the plan of having a Young Men’s Christian Association to bind together the believers that were in that school, the Imperial University, and the High Commercial School. It was feared that their number was hardly sufficient to make the organization practicable; but to the surprise of those who called a meeting to consider the subject, there was an attendance of thirty young men, who earnestly expressed the belief that some sort of union would greatly help them in the Christian life. Instead of one association as had been proposed, three allied societies, one for each school, were formed, and thus a movement began that afterwards grew into an extensive work for students in public and private schools.

Article from WOMAN'S WORLD:Star, Putanga 4843, 6 Kohitātea 1894, Page 3

 

A drive to open kindergartens in Japan

Another movement in connection with education may find mention in this place. Beginning with 1876, several kindergartens had been opened in connection with the public schools of Japan. To missionaries acquainted with Froebel’s ideas, these institutions, where religious teaching and influence were excluded, seemed very imperfect. It also seemed to them that Christian kindergartens might be effective instruments for exerting a helpful influence upon children and upon the families to which they belonged.

The first Kindergarten in Kobe:

The Presbyterian Mission had opened one in Tokyo sometime previous to 1887. In that year Miss Annie L. Howe, an enthusiastic advocate of the system, was sent to the Mission of the American Board that she might open a school in Kobe for the training of kindergartners. In 1888 she gave instruction to a few pupils and thus laid the foundations of what soon became a flourishing training-school. The same year she was invited to give lectures on kindergarten methods to the students of the High Normal School in Tokyo. These were printed for the use of teachers in the government kindergartens. The Christian women of Kobe raised money for the establishment of a kindergarten where their own children might be educated, and this gave those being trained as teachers an opportunity for practical instruction. The graduates from the training-school were soon in great demand, not only for Christian kindergartens, but also for those established by the government.

learn more about Friedrich Fröbel here

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