Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

j h pestalozzi

Born, January 12, 1746, Zürich    -     Died, February 17, 1827, Brugg

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Swiss social reformer and educator, is known as the Father of Modern Education. The modern era of education started with him and his spirit and ideas led to the great educational reforms in Europe in the nineteenth century.

Pestalozzi believed in the ability of every individual human being to learn and in the right of every individual to education. He believed that it was the duty of society to put this right into practice. His beliefs led to education becoming democratic; in Europe, education became available for everyone.

Pestalozzi was particularly concerned about the condition of the poor. Some of them did not go to school. If they did, the school education was often useless for their needs. He wanted to provide them with an education which would make them independent and able to improve their own lives.

Pestalozzi believed that education should develop the powers of ‘Head’, ‘Heart’ and ‘Hands’. He believed that this would help create individuals who are capable of knowing what is right and what is wrong and of acting according to this knowledge. Thus the well being of every individual could be improved and each individual could become a responsible citizen. He believed that empowering and ennobling every individual in this way was the only way to improve society and bring peace and security to the world. His aim was for a complete theory of education that would lead to a practical way of bringing happiness to humankind.

Pestalozzi saw teaching as a subject worth studying in its own right and he is therefore known as the father of pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept). He caused education to become a separate branch of knowledge, alongside politics and other recognised areas of knowledge.

Pestalozzi’s approach has had massive influence on education, for example, his influence, as well as his relevance to education today, is clear in the importance now put on:

Pestalozzi’s influence over the spirit, the methods and the theory of education has continued into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and most of his principles have been assimilated into the modern system of education.

Sites of Interest

Pestalozzi Charitable Organisations

PestalozziWorld, including Pestalozzi Overseas Children's Trust UK, Pestalozzi US Children's Charity Inc, POCT Ireland and PestalozziPverseas Childrens Foundation Switzerland:

Pestalozzi Education Centre, Lusaka, Zambia

Pestalozzi Association Helping Advance Development (or PAHAD, which means hill in Nepalese)

Thai Pestalozzi Foundation website

Pestalozzi International Village Trust, East Sussex, UK

Pestalozzi Children's Foundation in Trogen, Switzerland

The Neuhof which provides vocational training for non-integrated youth and young offenders in the spirit of Pestalozzi

Pestalozzi School in Sulgen, Switzerland:

Pestalozzi Trust - Legal Defence Fund For Home Education

Further Information About J. H. Pestalozzi

J. H. Pestalozzi at Wikipedia

Pestalozzi Goes Internet - an extensive resource on Pestalozzi.
The website is predominantly in German, though this link is to pages on his life and work in English.  Other languages are served including Chinese.

Centre of Information and Research on Pestalozzi at Yeverdon  In French only
Informal Edcuation and Lifelong Learning
Thinkers on Education

Related Resources

International Baccalaureate Organisation

United World Colleges

Mahindra United World College of India

Tibet Online Resource Gathering

Pathways to School Improvement