Imagining the Garden: Childhood, Landscape, and Architecture in Early Pedagogy, 1761-1850
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Ramirez Jasso, Diana
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CitationRamirez Jasso, Diana. 2012. Imagining the Garden: Childhood, Landscape, and Architecture in Early Pedagogy, 1761-1850. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractThis dissertation examines childhood, education, and designed environments as interrelated concerns. It explores the ways in which, in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Europe, gardens and architecture were understood as important instruments in pedagogical theory and practice, often being deployed as primary instruments in the education of young children. In order to establish the primacy of these spaces in the pedagogical imagination of this period, the study interrogates texts and images produced in France and Germany between 1761 and 1850. The analysis develops through a series of case studies that are connected historically, beginning with Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse (1761) and Émile, ou de l’éducation (1762), two works that established some of the issues and concerns that were later adopted by progressive educators in Germany. The study then turns to the work of Johann Bernhard Basedow, Christian Heinrich Wolke, and other German pedagogues associated with the Philanthropinum, an experimental school founded in Dessau in 1774. A discussion of the historical context brings to light their reinvention of the garden as a space for physical training; their use of pictures, architectural models, and scientific instruments in the development of the child’s powers of observation; and their activation of architecture as a cognitive filter for the perception of the world. The study concludes with a discussion of a paradigmatic garden for early childhood education, Friedrich Froebel’s Kindergarten, as it was theoretically formulated and visually represented in 1850. Rather than investigating actual gardens or spaces, the research concentrates on the ways in which these settings were imagined, described, and represented in pedagogical texts. The methodology through which these narratives and representations are approached deliberately aims to bring into focus an understudied aspect of the material culture of childhood by expanding the context of analysis of distinct disciplinary histories. By bringing together various field-specific studies—the intellectual history of modern Europe and the histories of landscape, of education, and of childhood—this dissertation uncovers the ways in which educators in this period conceived of the performative power of space.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10336915
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