pestalozzi.jpg Johann Pestolozzi pestalozzi2.jpg

"The role of the educator is to teach students, not subjects" -Johann Pestolozzi

: Rebecca, Alexandra, & Christa
Birth Date: January 12th 1746
Hometown: Zurich
What: Founded a school called Neuhof Institute
When: 1799
Why: He created a child centered curriculum, offered childhood education and teacher preparation. Additionally, Pestolozzi yearned for improved social conditions, and argued that education was the key to this.

His life
Pestalozzi was born January 12, 1846 in Zurich, Switzerland. Losing his father early in life, Johann was raised by his mother. His life was dedicated to improving social conditions for the people, but was turned off from politics, and decided to dedicate his life to education. Pestalozzi began his career in education by opening up a school for poor, orphaned students which unfortunately was forced to close its doors because of a lack of funding. Between 1781 and 1785, he wrote two books titled The Evening Hours of a Hermit, and Leonard and Gertrude which illustrated his observations and theories on education as a whole. In 1798, he opened another school for orphans and underpriveledged which remained open for about twenty years. This school was attended by students from across Europe. The founder of the Kindergarten movement, Freidrich Froebel taught at this school, and was greatly influenced by Pestalozzi.

His theory:
· School is a time of plasticity and expression of innate goodness. Children are to be molded into a better model for society.
· Believed that all children, not just those of the upper class, might benefit from education.
· Teaching should involve the senses and children should study objects in their natural environment.

· "Emotional Security" principle includes activities based on concept, ideational capacity of the brain.
· "The near to the far" principle, begins with the learners immediate experience, then gradually moves towards new things.
· “Object Lesson” involved exercises in learning and experiences numbers, form, and language.
Teachers need to be taught how to develop the child not how to implant knowledge in them.
Believed that children should not be given answers, but come to realize them on their own.
Placed emphasis on the spontanaety of the child, and the activity of ones self for developmental learning.
Wished to balance three elements of the child in education to satisfy all aspects of him or her.

  1. Head
  2. Heart
  3. Hands
This model ensures the child experiences cognitive development (head), emotional development (heart), and physical development (hands). Pestalozzi argued that there are dangers in simply attending to one of the three.


  • Pestalozzi envisioned a combination of school and work. This way, children could finance their own learning therefore being under no obligation to anyone. Thus, the state would be forced to not interfere.
  • He also saw a movement in which children would be guided through observation, practice, and using their senses rather than being spoken at by his or her teacher.

His Method
"Pestalozzi's method rested on two major premises: (1) children need an emotionally secure environment as the setting for successful learning; and (2) instruction should follow the generalized process of human conceptualization that begins with sensation. Emphasizing sensory learning, the special method used the Anschauung principle, a process that involved forming clear concepts from sense impressions." -Retrieved October 2nd, 2009 from

His influence on premodern society:
· Education is developmentally appropriate practice. Each stage of learning must be completed and fully developed before another can begin.
· Preparation of environment to resemble the home life is a prime importance in setting the stage for children’s experiential learning.
· Getting teachers to understand that their relationship with their students was the foundation of learning.

His influence on today's society:
· His developmental curriculum used everyday objects to explain arithmetic and group instruction was key to learning atmosphere.
· Children are disciplined through their desire to please the teacher rather than through fear or abuse.
· Home and school environments are continuously and closely linked.
· Always proceed gradually and slowly.
· Deal with your direct environment before remote or distant ones.

Influenced by:
· John Locke
· John Comenius
· Jacques Rousseau
· Plato
  • Jean Jacques Bodmer