Time Line

A Historical Perspective on Early Childhood Education

Dr. Reutzel EL ED 6230 by Nancy Ruth Bittner

Early Beginnings
The Peloponnesian War
Marked the beginning of education.

Recognized the need for differences in teaching the young.

431 BC

470-399 BC Socrates
Originated the study of formal logic.

384-322 BC

Beginnings - The Reformation
Martin Luther
Education for all. A range of subjects including music and art.

1490-1650 Erasmus
Humans can be self determinate.


1592-1670 John Comenius

Designed the first illustrated children’s text and wrote a first parenting book.

Beginnings - The Reformation
John Locke
Emphasized natural education -tabula rosa - a child is an empty slate.

Jean Rousseau
Wrote, Emile, about a child reared and taught apart from other children. Childhood is a unique experience.


1647 Old Deluder Satan Act
A religious act in Mass. Learning to read kept children from evil.


Beginnings - The Reformation
Noah Webster
Standardized spelling for American English The Blueback Speller.

1746-1827 Johann Pestalozzi
Must raise and teach children in a naturalistic way.


1782-1852 Fredrich Froebel
Education should produce a pure, faithful, and holy life. The Father of Kindergarten.

Beginnings - Materials
Mother Goose Tales
Poems and stories transcribed by Charles Perot.

1590- 1700 The Hornbook
An early primer.


Late 1600's The New England Primer
A religious primer for teaching reading to children.

Modern Education - 1850-1950
Margarethe Schurz
Opened the first Kindergarten in Watertown, WI with 6 children.

Harris and Blow
Opened the first public Kindergarten.


1860 Elizabeth Peabody
Opened the first English speaking Kindergarten with 30 children in Boston.



Modern Education - 1850-1950
Women’s Pavilion

First Training School
for Kindergarten teachers at the Oshkosh Normal School, Philadelphia.

1876 Ruth Burritt
She taught the model Kindergarten featured in in the Women’s Pavilion at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.


1902 Maria Montessori
Opened Casa dei Bambini, a school for disadvantaged children using methods for developing the whole child.

Modern Education - 1850-1950
John Dewey
Founded the ADewey School@ with the idea that children learn best by doing.

Susan Blow & Patty Hill
Trained Kindergarten teachers at Columbia Teachers’ college in a 14 week course.


1884 & 1892 Teachers’ Unions
The Elementary Kindergarten Nursery Educators (EKNE) and International Kindergarten Union formed to unite early childhood educators.


Modern Education - 1850-1950
Arnold Gessell
Formed the Child Guidance Clinic at Yale. Stated that children grow intrinsically in an automatic unfolding.

1920 G. Stanley Hall
A child psychologist who developed the Recapitulation Theory. It says that children pass through stages that the whole human race has passed through and in the same order.


Reading Readiness
Gray & Horn
Stated that reading gains might be greater if not taught until second grade.

1927 Mary Reed
Her dissertation stated that 1 in 8 students were not making progress and that perhaps reading instruction should be delayed.


1931 Morphett & Washburne
Through an influential study, set the age 6.5 as the optimal age when children should begin reading instruction.

Reading Readiness
Willard Olsen
Readiness determined by an organismic age figured by physical measures like head circumference and loosing baby teeth.


1953 Robert Havinghurst
Coins the term ATeaching Moment@ implying appropriate and inappropriate times for instruction.

Reading Readiness
Furter & Wachs
Interpreted Piaget’s theories to say that early reading instruction has adverse effects on cognitive growth.


1978 Hook
A psychologist quoted as saying that early reading may adversely effect the left side of the brain.


Emergent Literacy- Research & Change
Arthur Gates
Challenges readiness theories in a study examining the validity of mental age. Found that the quality of instruction influences learning.

Dolores Durkin
Studied children who read early. Found that exposure and access to print contributed to early reading.


1959 Jerome Bruner
Believed that any child could be taught effectively at any age and stage of development.


Emergent Literacy - Research & Change
M. Clay
Children’s scribbles, drawings, random letters and invented spellings are early forms of writing.

Y. Goodman
Found that many young children already knew certain things necessary for reading.


1981 Lev Vygotsky
Believes mental functions are acquired through social relationships and that children learn by internalizing the world around them.


Emergent Literacy - Research & Change
Whole Language
Is defined as a philosophy of language development and instructional practices embedded within text. Use of real literature and writing in context is emphasized. -Bergon (1990)

1987 N. Hall
Becoming literate is a continuous developmental process.


Recent Research
Balanced Approach
Teachers must have a strong knowledge of multiple methods for teaching reading and put them into practice based on their students= needs. (IRA Position Statement)

1993 Phonemic Awareness
Phonemic awareness instruction in Preschool and Kindergarten strengthens reading achievement and is a precursor to phonics. (Byrne & Fielding-Barnsley, 1993)


Recent Research
National Reading Panel Report
Teaching Children To Read -Presents the most effective approaches for teaching children to read based on scientific research.

Phonemic Awareness Phonics Instruction Guided Oral Reading Comprehension Strategies Fluency Vocabulary Development Computer Technology Teacher Training

Morrow, L. M. (2001). Literacy development in the early years: helping children read and write (4th ed). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, A Pearson Education Company. Reutzel, R. (2002). Utah State University, EL ED 6230, In class notes. Yahoo Gallery (2002). Corbis.com pictures retrieved June 25, 2002 from the World Wide Web: http://www.yahoogallery.com

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