This book informs students and scholars of early childhood education about the vital influences that imagination in preschool education has exerted upon the lives of various populations. It explores the deeper imaginations of scholars of philosophy and theory, and describes how their work has found its way into present-day classroom practices. The imagination of early philosophers, writers, and teachers, like Aesop, Plato, Socrates, Rousseau, and Locke, are considered in terms of how they affected the theories of Comenius, Oberlin, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Montessori, Freud, Piaget, and Erikson. These thinkers are integrated throughout the text in their proper historical and philosophical periods.
A steady stream of white poor from Europe, and blacks from southern plantations, created an overwhelming poverty population in our cities in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Newly transplanted families were aided by kindergarten philanthropists who contributed and raised funds for nursery schools and food programs in settlement houses. These neighborhood centers, first imagined by Jacob Riis and Jane Addams, were copied by various community institutions including churches and soon gave shelter to the first kindergartens and nursery schools. Childcare for poor immigrant families was championed by people like the Peabody sisters, Susan Blow, Horace Mann, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lucy Wheelock, William T. Harris, Maria Kraus-Boelte, Matilda Kriege, Henry Barnard, and Pauline Agassiz Shaw, just to name a few. This book also reports on the work of Itard and Sicard, who inspired Maria Montessori in their dedicated work with children of the impoverished and learning disabled. An extensive reference list is provided for advanced scholarly exploration.