How “kindergarten” survived the ban on German words

Source: Christian Science Monitor
by Melissa Mohr

“Researching graduation and mortarboard for last week’s column, I discovered that schools in the United States hold graduation ceremonies for children as young as 4. There are preschool graduations, kindergarten graduations, first grade and sixth grade graduations, not to mention the more usual eighth grade and high school ceremonies. Looking at this list, the word kindergarten sticks out. Most grades are identified, quite boringly, with everyday English words. Why do 5- and 6-year-olds get to attend kindergarten, with its evocative and obviously German name? In the 1830s, German teacher Friedrich Froebel envisioned a revolutionary type of school for children of 4 to 7 years old. It would nurture development through three key elements: creative play; physical activity and singing; and gardening, which would teach them to notice and appreciate the natural world.” (06/07/21)