Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827): A Swiss education reformer whose theories deeply influenced the development of elementary education in Europe and the United States. The schools established by Pestalozzi in Switzerland attracted wide attention. Opposed to the customary reliance on strict discipline and rote memorization, he favored an approach based on kindness and understanding of the child’s world. He believed that education should be based on concrete experiences, so he introduced the use of tactile objects to teach natural science to children. He emphasized both the moral and the intellectual aspects of education, as well as the importance of well-educated teachers. A lifelong social reformer, Pestalozzi believed that good education could change society for the better.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

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