CARLI Digitized Book of the Month – September 2016

From: National Louis University

The Kindergarten journal: vol.1, no.3, yr.1910

To keep with this week's Tumblr theme of Chicago history, here's an advertisement for the Chicago Kindergarten College, found on page 117 of The Kindergarten Journal, vol. 1, no. 3, Autumn 1910.

Kindergarten is no longer considered pre-school, but the first year of formal education in the U.S. It has become, essentially, Grade 0: full-day attendance with subject area strands--mathematics, reading, writing, science and health, physical education, art, and music--for which students receive grades, with additional marks in the area of social/emotional learning. By the end of the school year, kindergarteners are expected to be able to write sentences and to add and subtract numbers 1-10. This integration into the public school system is reflected in the term "K-12." Common Core State Standards apply. Pre-K is the new kindergarten.

The kindergarten concept can be traced to late 18th-century Europe, developing in Germany before being imported into the U.S. in the mid-19th century. In 1886, Elizabeth Harrison founded a training school for kindergarten teachers in Chicago. That school evolved, changing names and locations over the years, to form the nucleus of the present-day National Louis University.

This 1910 ad identifies Miss Harrison as co-principal of the then-named CKC [1893-1912] along with Rumah (Mrs. John N.) Crouse, who managed the business aspects of the partnership. By this time, the school had expanded to offer instruction to primary teachers on the application of kindergarten principles for children ages 6-10, as well as courses for mothers for home use. The ad features the image of a building located at 1200 Michigan Boulevard that housed the college from 1906 to 1913. During that seven-year period, the college adopted its fourth name, National Kindergarten and Education College. A residential skyscraper (The Columbian) now inhabits the site.

Miss Harrison served on the editorial staff of the quarterly Kindergarten Journal as its literary critic. The Autumn 1910 issue includes an editorial she penned on "The Kindergarten" and her report on the 14th annual meeting of the National Congress of Mothers, an organization known to us today as the PTA.

Disclaimer: The author of this post has never been enrolled in or attended kindergarten.

Written by Ellen K. Corrigan, Associate Professor, Cataloging Services, Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University

This volume was contributed by the National Louis University Library, Archives and Special Collections. You can find this volume and others from CARLI participant libraries in the Internet Archive.