Teaching About and in the Spirit of Pestalozzi

Teaching About and in the Spirit of Pestalozzi

Texts by Arthur Brühlmeier on Teaching in the Spirit of Pestalozzi

Dr. Arthur Brϋhlmeier, the leading expert on Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, has ensured that Pestalozzi’s legacy lives on through his texts on teaching in the spirit of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (links 1 and 2).  These lively ideas about teaching and learning are inspiring for all those who want to enable children to reach their full potential in a loving and collaborative teaching environment in which each child is valued for what he or she can offer.  

‘Teaching in the spirit of Pestalozzi’ by Dr Arthur Brühlmeier draws on the author’s personal experience as a teacher, in order to show how lessons approached in the spirit of Pestalozzi look today.  This vivid and inspiring account covers the following areas: Pestalozzi’s basic ideas on teaching; the demands on the teacher; and the realization of Pestalozzi’s principles in the class.

‘Head, Heart and Hand: Education in the Spirit of Pestalozzi’ by Dr. Arthur
Brϋhlmeier applies the educational philosophy of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
(1746-1827) to education today. This book offers a teaching and learning
approach based on personal, community-oriented relationship, which puts
emphasis on the development of the full humanity of every individual child. 27 self-contained chapters provide suggestions for teachers and policy makers which can help transform young people and their educational experience.

Teaching Ideas About and in the Spirit of Pestalozzi

Teaching Ideas by Dr. Joanna Nair for PestalozziWorld

These Teaching Ideas constitute guidelines for teaching and learning in the spirit of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi – thus encouraging a teaching approach which is: holistic, child-centred, enjoyable, loving, active, connected to nature, supportive of co-operative behaviour, based on observation, individual experience and understanding gained through the senses, community oriented and relevant to the likely futures of the students.

Most importantly, the Teaching Ideas aim to inspire young people to live humane and moral lives, with the knowledge, motivation and practical ability to help themselves and others in the spirit of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi.


Games in the Spirit of Pestalozzi, Pestalozzi’s Educational Approach and Pestalozzi Human Qualities (Briefly outlining Pestalozzi’s educational approach and the qualities he considers important, and introducing cooperative and trust-inspiring games in the spirit of Pestalozzi)

Using the PestalozziWorld Teaching ideas

The table at the beginning of each Teaching Idea provides:


The terms ‘Elementary’, ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’ refer not so much to students’ ability in English, as to their familiarity with a style of education in which they are expected to actively participate and to their ability to grasp concepts.

Most of the Teaching Ideas can be easily adapted to suit levels other than those named in the table.

Most of the Teaching Ideas can be used with Mixed Ability and Mixed-Level groups and this should be encouraged.  Students should be encouraged to help each other as much as possible and to be cooperative.

AIMS (Aspect of Pestalozzi) and FURTHER AIMS

While the primary aim of each Teaching Idea is to teach the students about Pestalozzi, ‘Further Aims’ include links to other subjects and to relevant issues of today.  Although most of the Teaching Ideas can be taught in the mother tongue or partly in the mother tongue if necessary, this should be avoided whenever possible since a further aim of many of the Teaching Ideas is to provide an opportunity for the students to improve their English.


This section of the table provides information on what materials are needed and what facilities are needed in addition to those usually required.  Each Teaching Idea can be adapted for use without the materials or with different materials if those listed are not readily available.


Apart from those Teaching Ideas where an order is indicated and apart from the obvious progression from Elementary to Intermediate to Advanced, the Teaching Ideas can be used in any order.


Timings are deliberately not provided in the Teaching Ideas; students should be given as much time as they need and the approach should be as flexible as possible.  That students enjoy the learning experience is more important than that they ‘finish’ the Teaching Ideas.


The Teaching Ideas should be seen only as guidelines.  Their purpose is not to restrain learning but to give ideas.  If, therefore, a lesson takes off in a different direction, there is no need to feel that the Teaching Idea in use must be followed. As long as the aims mentioned in the Teaching Idea are met, and as long as the session is faithful to Pestalozzi’s teaching approach (see ‘Approach’ above), the teacher can modify and adapt as necessary. 


The NBs given in italics consist of directions for the teacher, and often consist of points which the teacher should ensure that the students are aware of.

Bullet Points in the Main Body of the Teaching Ideas

Where these are ‘Instructions to Students’, these can be written on the blackboard for clarity and for the students’ reference.

Sections in Bold Print at the end of the Teaching Ideas

Many of the Teaching Ideas end with a section in bold print.  This provides the educational approach and ideas of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi which link to the Teaching Idea above.  This section should be explained to the students and the connection between these ideas and the activities of the Teaching Idea should also be explained. This is so that the students understand more about JHP and how the activities they do connect to his educational approach.  The level and age of the students will dictate how much detail is given to the students from this section. 

An Outline of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi's Life

A brief summary timeline of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi's Life

The Life of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi - A Biography for Children