The Fröbel Network was established in November 2012 with the aim of publicising the name and philosophy of the famous educationalist Friedrich Fröbel and bringing his ideas into contemporary practice. To this end, the Network devised an entire decade devoted to Fröbel and his practices, with numerous projects and events to celebrate his life. The opening of the Fröbel Decade took place on 21.04.2013, the birthday of Friedrich Fröbel, with a variety of events held at a number of sites.
Exhibition, Honours Ceremony, Open Day
In keeping with the Opening Year, the Fröbel-Museum in Bad Blankenburg featured an exhibition entitled “Sphere, Cylinder, Cube – Fröbel Gives You Mobility” and furnished the museum with a playroom, which was inaugurated during the opening of the Fröbel Decade. Fun and interesting activities for children and families were also provided by the Child and Youth Art School WAK e.V from Schweina.
The Fröbel Museum in Oberweißbach opened its doors to all on Fröbel’s birthday, celebrating its traditional honours ceremony and presenting the results of the project “New Musical Rendering – Fröbel’s Mutter- und Koselieder”.
Fröbel’s “Mutter- und Koselieder” re-worked
Fröbel’s “Mutter- und Koselieder” provides guidance for families on playing and spending time together.
In 1844, Fröbel recorded numerous pictures of the Schwarzatal and songs in a book, the "Mutter- und Koselieder". However, the scoring of his verse was not possible for a long time. In 1994 and 1995, the former Oberweißbach Cantor Torsten Sterzik re-arranged the music for piano and voice, and recorded his efforts to cassette, with assistance from the Women’s Choirs from Oberweißbach, Neuhaus, Schleusingen and Steinheid, as well as children from the Oberweißbach Kindergarten. The old recording was transferred to digital quality in 2012 and can now be found at the Fröbel museums, sites of interest and educational facilities. The music can be heard and purchased in the Fröbel Museum Oberweißbach.
Inauguration of the “Fröbel’s Footsteps” Walking Trail in Bad Blankeburg
The "Fröbel's Footsteps" Walking Trail, which leads through the city of Bad Blankenburg, connects the places where Fröbel lived and worked. An online multi-media accompaniment with QR-Code is now available for smartphone users conducting the tour.
Fröbel as Theme for Schwarzburg Discussions
The aim of the “Future Workshop Schwarzatal” is to stimulate sustainable regional development in the Schwarzatal, and each year, interested stakeholders are invited to participate in the “Schwarzburg Discussions”. The allocation of Friedrich Fröbel as a unique symbol for the region led to the foundation of the Fröbel Network. In keeping with the opening year of the Fröbel Decade, the theme of the 2013 discussion was “Alternative and Natural Education – following Fröbel’s Footsteps in the Digital Age”.
Over two days, external experts were brought into contact with regional concepts and projects. Alongside pedagogic insights and tips that were useful for the kindergartens and schools in the region, concrete co-operation agreements and recommendations for action were devised for Friedrich Fröbel’s legacy in the Rennsteig-Schwarzatal region.
Application for the Listing of Fröbel as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
In November, 2013, the Fröbel Network applied to UNESCO for recognition of Fröbel’s philosophies and the concept of kindergarten as Intangible Cultural Heritages.
In April 2014, Fröbel’s kindergarten was shortlisted as one of two Thuringen listings. However, in December 2014, the Fröbel concept failed to be included in the final list for Germany.