August 05, 2010

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

In this posting, I mentioned some thoughts that came into my mind about a square in Zurich. Just next to the square, I saw a statue of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. Please see photo below.

I read here that Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi once stated: “The role of the educator is to teach children, not subjects.” Via this source, I learned that Mr. Pestalozzi, who was born in the beautiful city of Zurich, argued that children should learn through activity and through things. They should be free to pursue their own interests and draw their own conclusions. He placed a special emphasis on spontaneity and self-activity. Children should not be given ready-made answers but should arrive at answers themselves. To do this their own powers of seeing, judging and reasoning should be cultivated, their self-activity encouraged. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi also wanted to combine education with work.

To Pestalozzi the individuality of each child is paramount; it is something that has to be cultivated actively through education. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi opposed the prevailing system of memorization learning and strict discipline and sought to replace it with a system based on love and an understanding of the child's world. Source.

Not least due to the relatively strong uncertainty avoidance associated with the culture of Switzerland, I find it interesting that a statue of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi is placed right in the centre of Zurich. What are your thoughts?

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