TAM-arkiv mobilmeny

The growth of the kindergarten idea

Published on October 21, 2022 by Anna Lundkvist

Translation from Swedish by Andreas Lindahl

A children’s garden (a kindergarten). It sounds ever so beautiful. Who doesn’t want to be there? ”…I long for the pebbles where children I played” (a freehand translation by translator) as Verner von Heidenstam writes in his poem ”Thoughts of Loneliness”.

Dreamish look back at the time of the children’s garden

The word children’s garden comes from the German word  kindergarten and was the original name in Sweden for what today is called preschool, after some time of the ever resounding trope ”dear child has many names”. The name originates from the German educator Friedrich Fröbel’s likening of the child to the green plant in the garden, someone dearly in need of favourable soil in order for it to develop. A true and timeless parable.

The first Swedish children’s garden came into being in Stockholm in 1896 and the Swedish Fröbel Association was duly formed in 1918 as the earliest association for preschool teachers with Anna Warburg as chairman. At the same time, the Swedish Fröbel Association’s journal was initiated, a journal which also had changed its name over the years.

In 1944, the union became a trade union organization that required vocational training for membership. Stina Sandels was elected chairman for Sveriges Barnträdgårdslärarinnors Riksförbund, SBR (in English: eg the Swedish Federation of Kindergarten Teachers). In 1949, this federation entered into the newly formed Svenska facklärarförbundet and soon renamed Sveriges Förskollärares Riksförbund, SFR.

The Barnstuge Inquiry was subsequently appointed in 1968. It laid the foundation for the pedagogical activities of preschools until the mid-1980s. During the 1970s, there was a major preschool expansion at the same time as the status of the preschool teacher profession increased.

In 1991, Svenska Facklärarförbundet and Sveriges Lärarförbund merged into one organization, Lärarförbundet.

Hence, the formation of Sveriges Lärare in 2022 as a merger of Lärarförbundet and Lärarnas Riksförbund.

Here at TAM-Arkiv there are documents from the entire period from 1918 to the present day as well as a collection of professional memories, ”Det vi gör sätter spår hela livet” – Förskollärare berättar, red. Annelie Johansson, published in 1993 (Eng. eg “What we do shapes the lives of many – preschool teachers in their own words”, Annelie Johansson, Stockholm: TAM 1993; not in translation). It contains narratives from preschool teachers active in different time periods until then.

Author: Anna Lundkvist

TAGS: #tamarkiv #amajorpreschoolexpansion #friedrichfröbel #dearchildhasmanynames #thegrowthofthekindergartenidea #inquiries #mergerstradeunion #childcare #vocationaltraining