Pestalozzi Pedagogy

Pestalozzi's educational paradigm dates back to the beginning of the industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century. The interesting thing is that the approach is still influential in our society and education today. The aim is to support the child in the development of its natural potential so that it grows into a valuable member of society.

Portraitzeichnung von Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi© adobe.stock / georgios-kollidas

Pestalozzi - in the spirit of enlightenment

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi lived from 1746 to 1827. He was Swiss and came from an - at that time - internationally recognised family of doctors. Inspired by the ideas of Rousseau (French philosopher, educationalist and naturalist), Pestalozzi developed a concept of education that is still used today. In the time in which Pestalozzi lived, important political, cultural and social changes took place. The development of nation states, the democratisation of society and the beginning of industrialisation, also connected with the idea of a school for all - which at that time was only reserved for the urban population and elites - are characteristic of this time. Pestalozzi's educational concept is therefore also to be understood as embedded in this time.

Pestalozzi pedagogy - foundation stone for modern society

The basis for the approach is Pestalozzi's view that the human being is a being of higher intelligence and therefore different from animals. Furthermore, being human has a meaning, in two respects, for society and for oneself. Every human being has the potential to develop and realise his or her humanity.(Note: We take this for granted today, but embedded in the time of kings, elites and poor rural population, such approaches were novel).Since every individual is born with certain abilities, it is now the task of education to develop the powers and aptitudes. Pestalozzi further sees that these powers and aptitudes can only be developed through use. This means that development takes place by encouraging individuals to use their own powers and analogies. Encouraging children's curiosity is another starting point in Pestalozzi's pedagogy, which Pestalozzi called the striving force (the inherent powers and dispositions strive to unfold).

Finally, it is important to promote the trinity of head, heart and hand in individuals. The head describes thinking and thus the intellectual abilities of the human being. The term heart refers to the inner world of feelings. But Pestalozzi also includes the teaching of gratitude, love and trust here. Finally, the term hand describes the physical powers, i.e. practical action.

As you can perhaps already guess, Pestalozzi's pedagogy aims to promote these three powers and abilities. Methods of how this should work are only vaguely described, such as striving and applying the powers and dispositions. Nevertheless, the aim of the approach is: the education of the moral person who strives for good, is inwardly free, acts out of love and strengthens social coexistence through consideration and tolerance.

Childcare services according to Pestalozzi