At one time Froebel’s ideas had a profound impact on American education. Joy was perceived as an essential ingredient for effective learning.
John Dewey had described the influence of Kindergarten on his experimental school at the University of Chicago as follows:
One of the traditions of the school is of a visitor who, in its early days, called to see the kindergarten. On being told that the school had not as yet established one, she asked if there were not singing, drawing, manual training, plays and dramatizations, and attention to the children’s social relations. When her questions were answered in the affirmative, she remarked, both triumphantly and indignantly, that that was what she understood by a kindergarten, and she did not know what was meant by saying that the school had no kindergarten. The remark was perhaps justified in spirit if not in letter. At all events, it suggests that in a certain sense the school endeavors throughout its whole course — now including children between four and thirteen — to carry into effect certain principles which Froebel was perhaps the first consciously to set forth.