Friday, May 16, 2008

Today In History; Elizabeth Peabody, Educator/Founder

1804: Elizabeth Palmer Peabody was one of nineteenth century America's most important Transcendentalist writers and educational reformers. A prominent figure in Transcendentalism, Massachusetts-born Peabody ran a foreign language bookstore where other Transcendentalists gathered and published The Dial, the movement's newspaper. In 1859, she became involved in the kindergarten movement. Peabody believed that children's play has a developmental and educational value and worked toward providing formal schooling to children younger than six. She opened the first English-language kindergarten in the U.S. and went on to organize many more. As a result of Peabody's efforts kindergarten has become an accepted institution in U.S. education.

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