All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois M Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Kay Emfinger

Lynn Kirkland

Pat Kuby

Maryann Manning

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Education (EdD) School of Education


The purpose of this historical narrative study was to discover how the World's Fair of 1876 advanced the kindergarten movement in the United States. Historical documents, photographs, and drawings were used as data sources. The following questions guided this study: "What were the purposes of the kindergarten exhibits at the World's Fair?" "Who were the individuals that demonstrated the kindergarten at the first Centennial World's Fair and how did they influence the kindergarten exhibits at the next fair in 1893?" and "How did commercialism associated with the fair affect thekindergarten movement?" The kindergarten exhibits at the Centennial World's Fair had a profound effect on the way in which Americans viewed the kindergarten. At once viewed as a foreign import, the kindergarten became Americanized and more accepted by the majority of visitors. The fair exhibits also united the kindergarten pioneers in an effort to present an organized exhibit at the World's Fair of 1893. Even though the proliferation of commercialized kindergarten materials exhibited at the Centennial World's Fair often distorted the Froebelian kindergarten pedagogy, these materials increased the public's awareness of the kindergarten movement and all of its benefits.

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