Pestalozzi – The Father of Modern Education

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

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746 -1827)  was the founder of several educational institutions in Switzerland and wrote many works explaining his revolutionary modern principles of education.

He believed in both the ability of every individual human being to learn and in the right of every individual to education. 

Pestalozzi was particularly focused on the power of education to help the poor. He was concerned when children in poor communities did not go to school. When they did, the education was often useless for their needs. Pestalozzi sought to provide them with an education that would make them independent and able to improve their own lives.

Pestalozzi believed that such education should develop the powers of ‘Head’, ‘Heart’ and ‘Hands’. In other words, we help children best by putting equal emphasis on character, practical life skills and cognitive development. He believed that this would help develop independent individuals who know what is right and what is wrong, and who live accordingly.

Pestalozzi Values

Pestalozzi taught that we help children best by providing a heart-led education of the Head (academic skills), Heart (emotional wellbeing and the desire to help others) and Hands (vocational skills and the practical skills needed in everyday life). He found that such an holistic development of the ‘whole’ child – Head, Heart and Hands – equips children to create a better life for themselves and for others.

The Pestalozzi World Village Ethos and Approach, of the Head, Heart and Hands. Presented by Head of Programmes, Dr Joanna Nair.

Discover more about Johann Pestalozzi

On our resource site, JHPestalozzi Society:

The Influence and Relevance of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi: Education and World Peace

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) influenced such important educationalists as Froebel, Steiner, Montessori and Dewey. His heart-led educational approach is as important to education now as it was in his day.


Written and narrated by Head of Programmes, Dr Joanna Nair

Our Pestalozzi Ethos

Our ethos of the Head, Heart and Hands, underpins everything we do.

Discover more about our Pestalozzi Villages:

Below takes you to further information about each of our Villages.

Pestalozzi Zambia

Located in Lusaka

Pestalozzi India

Located in Dehradun

Pestalozzi Nepal

Located in Pokhara

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