Die Menschenerziehung, die Erziehungs-, Unterrichts- und Lehrkunst, angestrebt in der allgemeinen deutschen Erziehungsanstalt zu Keilhau; dargestellt von dem Stifter, Begrunder und Vorsteher desselben Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel. Erster Band. Bis zum begonnen Knabenalter [tutto il pubblicato].

Autore FRÖBEL, Friedrich Wilhelm August (1782-1852).
Tipografo Verlag der allgemeinen deutschen Erziehungsanstalt; Leipzig, in Commission bey A. Wienbrack (Rudolstadt, gedruckt in der Fröbel'schen Hofbuchdruckerei)
Dati tipografici Keilhau, 1826
Prezzo € 1600.00

8vo (cm 20,8); original printed boards (the explanatory notes of the two vignettes at the center of the panels, ''Die Lilie im Garten'' and ''Jesus im Tempel'', are pasted on the front and rear endpapers); (4), 497, (1), (2: list of Fröbel's writing up to that date) pp. Ownership entry of Johann Heinrich Langethal (1792-1879), friend and collaborator of Fröbel at Keilhau. A very good copy, only slightly browned.
RARE FIRST EDITION. In 1816 Fröbel started his first school in the small village of Griesheim, a few kilometers from his birthplace. A year later the school moved a few miles away to another village, Keilhau, where his friends Wilhelm Middendorff and Heinrich Langethal joined him as teachers. The number of pupils at school soon grew to 56, and more teachers were recruited. While at Keilhau Fröbel had begun to publish his ideas in a weekly journal ''Die erziehenden Familien'', and in 1826 he privately published his first major work, Die Menschenerziehung. This publication established his growing reputation.
Die Menschenerziehung outlines Fröbel's teaching methods and embodies a theory of education based on the principles of ''wholeness'' (a child must be in harmony with nature and society, and learning, playing, working, doing and knowing form a harmonious unity), innate human goodness and perfectibility, and ''activity'' (in the sense that thinking and doing through play, learning and work are the basis for a fully conscious and happy life for the individual and for society). It is no wonder that the Prussian authorities were not enthusiastic about this eccentric man and his dangerous ideas. Because they decided to investigate the practices at the school, the parents started to remove their children. When finally only six pupils remained, the school had to close down. But this was not the end of Fröbel's career as school director; on the contrary it marked its beginning.
Like (and perhaps even more) Wie Gertrud ihre Kinder Lehrte (1801) by Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, who deeply influenced Fröbel, Die Menschenerziehung represents a milestone of modern pedagogical thought, a watershed in educational science which had a huge impact on following educators like Peter Petersen, Hermann Lietz, Maria Montessori and John Dewey. Fröbel anticipated some of the principles of developmental psychology and game theory that would have been fully developed only a century later. He changed the way we think about early childhood education. He designed balls, wooden blocks, tiles, sticks and rings to demonstrate that children learn by playing. His gifts have been widely imitated and adapted by educators and toys makers.
Fröbel realized a successful synthesis of the educational ideas not only of Rousseau and Pestalozzi, but also of Fichte and von Humboldt, from whom he learned the importance of the social value that a proper education plays within a nation. His action, truly revolutionary for his time, turned not only to primary education, but also to professional school, with a special concern for women (cf. N. Brosterman-K. Togashi, Inventing kindergarten, New York, 1997; and S. Hebenstreit, Friedrich Fröbel - Menschenbild, Kindergartenpädagogik, Spielförderung, Jena, 2003).
Opposed by the authorities during his lifetime, the posthumous rehabilitation of Fröbel began with the action of the Baroness Bertha von Marenholtz-Bülow, who widespread his principles in England and Belgium, and published in 1855 the first book in English inspired by Fröbel, Woman's Educational Mission, and in 1860 the Manuel pratique des deux enfants, making Fröbel also available in French. Her extreme commemoration gesture was finally the publication of the Erinnerungen an Fridriech Fröbel (1876), a fascinating portrait of the brilliant and unfortunate pedagogue (cf. H. Heiland, Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (1782-1852), Hohengehren, 2002, passim).

Johann Heinrich Langethal (1792-1879) studied theology at the University of Erfurt, his hometown, and Berlin. He first met Fröbel in 1813. In 1817 he was among the founders of the Keilhau School. In 1826 he married Ernestine Crispini, an adopted daughter of Friedrich Froebel's first wife Wilhelmine Henriette Hoffmeister. In 1834 he followed Fröbel to Switzerland, where he directed two schools organized on the model of that of Keilhau. In 1841 he went back to Germany, settling and teaching again in Keilhau, where he died in 1879 (cf. M. Berger, Langethal, Johann Heinrich, in: “Lebenswege in Thüringen, Fünfte Sammlung”, F. Marwinski, ed., Jena, 2015, pp. 171-176).

H. Heiland, Bibliographie Friedrich Fröbel, Hildesheim-Zürich-New York, 1990, p. 4, no. 0023.