Modern pedagogy, local concerns: The junkyard on the kibbutz kindergarten

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This paper focuses on the “Junkyard” (chatzar grutaot) - a unique educational environment and practice developed in kindergartens on the Israeli kibbutz in the 1940s and 1950s, and still in wide use today in kibbutz kindergartens. The Junkyard, consisting of artefacts of the adult world that are no longer in use, is an ever-changing setup in which children’s free play is encouraged, with minimal rules for use of time, space, objects, and social relations. Anchored in the writings of its two founding educators, as well as in writings of and interviews with its advocates and instructors over the years, this paper shows how the Junkyard drew on widespread ideas about early childhood development and education, at the same time as it responded to local conditions and concerns. The paper argues that a unique conjunction of factors - material and structural, educational and pedagogical, ideological and cultural - facilitated the process by which the Junkyard was inserted relatively smoothly into the kibbutz educational landscape, in lasting ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-370
Number of pages16
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Stichting Paedagogica Historica.


  • Adventure playground
  • Early education
  • Junkyard
  • Kibbutz Israel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History


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