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The greatest of all inventions came in the 19th century, that was the invention of kindergarten.

– Mitch Resnick, MIT MEDIA LAB


America began schooling young children in the mid-19th century with the German invention, Froebel Kindergarten. Social reformers saw jobs heading away from farms to urban industry. Today jobs are again in flux, but schools are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. This series takes a look at that history, the skills most valuable to next generations and the rich tools we lost a century ago. We hear from leading experts in the field about what’s still holding schools back and what the future might hold.

This podcast explores where we are today, the 200-year struggle to control Froebel’s “garden of children,” and its significant impact on our economy. More than simply a report card on the state of education, we show those schools and teachers who are making a difference and how we can support them. Our goal is to help parents, educators and other stakeholders understand the historical context of the current educational environment (standardized testing, homeschooling, Common Core), the decisions that led here and shine a light on areas still holding us back.