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Pestalozzi, Johann H.

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746–1827) was a Swiss educator whose philosophy of education was based on the premise that learning occurs most effectively in an emotionally secure environment where knowledge is acquired by sensory perception. Influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s beliefs regarding the inherent goodness of children and their need to develop freely, Pestalozzi introduced psychology into education and was the first to systematize the science of teaching. Though known predominantly for the object lesson, Pestalozzianism led to the transformational reform of elementary schools and ushered in the teacher licensure movement.

Following Rousseau’s example of employing fictional narrative to convey a philosophical treatise, Pestalozzi wrote the novel Leonard and Gertrude, which emphasized the role of mothers in education and the original goodness of human nature. Although drawing heavily ...

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