British Froebelian Women from the Mid-Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century : A Community of Progressive Educators book cover
1st Edition

British Froebelian Women from the Mid-Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century
A Community of Progressive Educators

Edited By

Amy Palmer


Jane Read

ISBN 9780815393351
Published June 29, 2020 by Routledge
222 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

British Froebelian Women from the Mid-Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century presents a series of critical case studies of individual women who worked and advocated for the cause of Froebelian and progressive pedagogy in Britain from the mid-nineteenth century until the present day. The book presents a compelling picture of how women have contributed in powerful ways to educational life and child-centred practices.

The book examines the beliefs and values of its subjects, offering crucial insights into how these women forged their professional identities and practice as new thinking about education and childhood emerged, and considers the differing forms of inspiration they drew from their connections with the Froebelian community.

This book will be of great interest for postgraduate students and academics in the fields of Women's Studies, History of Education, Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Studies.

Table of Contents

List of figures

Series Editor Introduction. Catherine Burke and Jane Martin

Notes on editors and contributors

Foreword. Amy Palmer and Jane Read


Introduction. Identity and Community, Revision and Dissemination: The Evolving Froebel Community in Britain. Amy Palmer and Jane Read

Chapter One. Esther E. Lawrence (1862-1944). Defining and Redefining Froebelian Pedagogy at the Froebel Educational Institute, London. Jane Read

Chapter Two. Clara Grant (1867-1949). Implementing Froebelian Pedagogy in an East London Slum. Amy Palmer

Chapter Three. Grace Owen (1873-1965). Sharing and Fostering Froebelian Principles within the Nursery School Movement. Michelle Palser

Chapter Four. Jeanie P. Slight (1890–1973). Disseminating Revisionist Froebelian Pedagogy. Jane Read

Chapter Five. Enid Blyton (1897-1968). Articulating Froebelian Pedagogy through Literature for Children and Teachers. Amy Palmer

Chapter Six. Molly Brearley (1905-1994). Educating Teachers and Popularising Developmental Approaches in the Post-War Era. Peter Cunningham

Chapter Seven. Elinor Goldschmied (1910-2009). Pioneering Practice for People Under Three and Those Who Care for Them. Peter Elfer and Dorothy Selleck


Chapter Eight. Chris Athey (1924 - 2011). Integrating Piagetian Principles into Froebelian Pedagogy. David Gledhill

Chapter Nine. Tina Bruce (b.1947). Advocating and Practising Froebelian Principles. Kate Hoskins and Sue Smedley

Conclusion. Amy Palmer and Jane Read

Appendix. Timeline


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Amy Palmer is Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Roehampton, London, UK, and Books Editor of History of Education.

Jane Read is Emeritus Fellow at the University of Roehampton, London, UK, and a member of the Early Childhood Research Centre.




"This book, which provides an account of how a progressive and childcentred pedagogical tradition developed and advanced in England will be of interest to students and professionals working in early childhood education and care. It also has relevance for those interested in the notion of professional identity and how this develops in the context of communities of practice."

- Rebecca Aberton, Educational Review