1st Edition

The Routledge International Handbook of Froebel and Early Childhood Practice Re-articulating Research and Policy

Edited By Tina Bruce, Peter Elfer, Sacha Powell, Louie Werth Copyright 2019
    370 Pages
    by Routledge

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    A major influence on the education of young children since the late nineteenth century, the philosophical and practical tenets of Frobelian early childhood education require urgent re-articulation in light of current debate and developments in research and policy.

    This seminal Handbook responds to this need, drawing together a unique and valuable body of literature, research and case studies to make explicit the specific features of Froebelian education and provide key impulses for future research and practice in this area. Chapters present the sometimes divergent perspectives of leading educationalists, and so offer a uniquely comprehensive overview of Froebelian approaches and their interaction with contemporary policies and insights.

    The Handbook explores five significant areas of scholarship and practice:

    • Part I examines the original Froebelian principles and practices in early childhood education in different parts of the world.

    • Part II presents case studies, development projects and practitioner publications exploring Froebelian approaches to early childhood education.

    • Part III details research studies which document, debate and evaluate Froebelian approaches.

    • Part IV considers how Froebelian approaches might be sustained and adapted for use in various cultural contexts across the world.

    • Part V offers a re-articulation of research and policy.

    An essential resource for in-service and future practitioners, researchers and policy-makers involved in early childhood education, this key text will promote discussion, aid analysis and further the practical application of Frobelian principles.


    Notes on editors and contributors


    Part I An examination of the original Froebelian principles and practices in early childhood education in different parts of the world

    Chapter 1 Friedrich Froebel, his life and ideas. Helen Tovey

    Chapter 2 Tracing Froebel’s legacy: The spread of the movement across Europe and beyond and his influence on education. Jane Read

    Chapter 3 The life of the Froebel Archive: a story. Kornelia Cepok

    Chapter 4 Connectedness in Froebel’s philosophy: women, parents, community and unity. Louie Werth

    Chapter 5 Froebel’s contributions to early childhood pedagogy. Louie Werth

    Chapter 6 ‘Social and conceptual spaces – Froebelian geographies’: project for the Froebel Archive collection located at the University of Roehampton.Valeria Scacchi

    Chapter 7 The psychoanalytic kindergarten project in Soviet Russia 1921–1930.Yordanka Valkanova

    Chapter 8 The transfer, translation and transformation of Froebelian theory and practice: Annie L. Howe and her Glory Kindergarten and Teacher Training College in Kobe Japan 1889–1929.Yukiyo Nishida

    Chapter 9 Froebel is dead; long live Froebel! the National Froebel Foundation and English education. Kirsten Nawrotzki

    Chapter 10 Working with the 10 principles of early childhood practice: revaluing stories and imagination for children’s biliteracy learning in South Africa. Carole Bloch

    Chapter 11 Advocacy and collaboration in the kindergarten movement of Aotearoa New Zealand: some Froebelian legacies. Clare Wells and Helen May

    Part II Case studies, development projects and practitioner publications exploring Froebelian approaches to early childhood education.

    Chapter 12 Elinor Goldschmied (1910–2009): Let the past inform the present! Jacqui Cousins:

    Chapter 13 The Froebel Blockplay Project: reflections from a practitioner researcher twenty five years on. Deborah Albon

    Chapter 14 Froebelian work in South Africa. Tina Bruce and Stella Louis

    Chapter 15: The Froebel Trust Kolkata project. Sara Holroyd, Thelma Miller, Felicity Thomas with Jill Leyberg, Kate Razzall and Asim Dutta

    Chapter 16 The educational meaning of ‘wander’ in nature according to the development of early childhood. Yumiko Taoko

    Chapter 17 Developing creativity in children’s musical improvisations. David Hargreaves

    Chapter 18 A story of Froebel’s global reach. Anne Meade with Geoff Fugle and Colleen McCaul

    Chapter 19 A case study at Cowgate Under 5's Centre. Lynn McNair

    Chapter 20 Case study: another time, another place: developing Social Studies in nursery school. Jane Whinnett

    Part III Research studies documenting, debating and evaluating Froebelian approaches

    Chapter 21 Ownership and autonomy in early learning: A brief review of the Froebel Fellowship 2002–15. David Hargreaves, Sue Robson, Sue Greenfield and Hiroko Fumoto.

    Chapter 22 Caring for babies and children under three: the contribution of Froebelian principles. Peter Elfer and Sacha Powell

    Chapter 23 Mother’s Songs in daycare for babies. Sacha Powell and Kathy Goouch

    Chapter 24 Living with Children: A Froebelian Appoach to working with Families and Communities. Suzanne Quinn and Sue Greenfield

    Chapter 25 The Well-Being of babies, children under three and staff leaders in Daycare. Peter Elfer

    Chapter 26 Transnational travelling teachers. Kerry Bethall.

    Chapter 27 The experiences and pedagogical beliefs , perspectives and practices of students at Froebel College. Kate Hoskins and Sue Smedley

    Chapter 28 Using teacher narratives in early childhood teacher training: history, identity and reflective practice. Kristen Nawrotzki

    Chapter 29 How do twenty-first century teacher trainees connect their practice to Froebel’s pedagogic principles? A case study of early childhood specialists at the University of Roehampton Froebel College 2011–2015. Suzanne Quinn with Lucy Parker Froebel Teachers

    Part IV Sustaining and handing on the Froebelian approach to early childhood education in ways fit for purpose in a variety of cultural contexts across the world

    Chapter 30 The Froebel Colleges. Compiled by Tina Bruce with contributions from Louie Werth and Anne Louise de Buriane

    Chapter 31 The Froebel Educational Institute: Influential tutors and Froebelian PhD graduates. Compiled by Tina Bruce with contributions from Kevin Brehony, Louie Werth and Suzanne Flannery Quinn

    Chapter 32 Schools with a strong Froebelian influence. Compiled by Tina Bruce with contributions from Mark Hunter and Debby Hunter.

    Chapter 33 The Froebel Networking tradition and kitchen seminars. Mark Hunter and Tina Bruce.

    Chapter 34 Communities of Froebelian practice: Strawberry runners and the Edinburgh Froebel Network: Maureen Baker, Stella Brown, Tina Bruce, Catriona Gill, Chris McCormick, Lynn McNair and jane Whinnett

    Chapter 35 Froebelian conferences and course and Early Childhood Research Centre (ECRC), University of Roehampton. Tina Bruce with Jane Read and Helen Tovey

    Chapter 36 Froebelian work at Canterbury Christ Church University. Tina Bruce with Yordanka Valkanova.

    Chapter 37 The International Froebel Society. Tina Bruce

    Chapter 38 From gutter to sand pile: discourses of space and place in interventions in working class children’s play. Jane Read

    Chapter 39 A Froebelian journey: from Froebel to Froebel. (A reflecting on the Froebel Travelling Tutors pilot course). Jane Dyke

    Part V Re-articulating research and policy

    Chapter 40 Froebelian chimings with the legally framed early childhood curriculum documents of Great Britain: England, Scotland and Wales. Jenny Spratt with Brenda Spencer, Lynn McNair, Jane Whinnett, Jane Waters and Jennifer Leigh Clements.

    Chapter 41 Froebelian influences on early childhood education and care government policy documents in England. Tina Bruce with contributions from Lesley Abbott and Ann Langston.

    Chapter 42 Re-articulating research and policy Tina Bruce and Sacha Powell.

    Appendix 1



    Tina Bruce, Peter Elfer and Sacha Powell with Louie Werth.

    Tina Bruce CBE is Honorary Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Roehampton, UK. She was co-founding Director of the Centre for Early Childhood Studies at the Froebel College, Trustee of the Froebel Trust and Chair of the Archive Committee and Co-ordinator for the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Early Childhood Education. Tina is Vice President of Early Education and is on the Executive Committee of the International Froebel Society.

    Peter Elfer is Principal Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Roehampton, UK. He is also a Trustee of the Froebel Trust, a Vice President of Early Education and Chair of the Froebel Trust Research committee.

    Sacha Powell is Professor of Early Childhood Care and Education at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. She is a visiting scholar at the Education University of Hong Kong (2018), Chair of TACTYC and a member of the Froebel Trust’s Research Committee.

    Louie Werth is Associate Lecturer in Childhood Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.

    "This comprehensive, thought provoking, scholarly, yet immensely practical, International Handbook of Froebel and Early Childhood Practice, edited by Tina Bruce, with Peter Elfer, Sacha Powell and Louie Werth, draws together an international range of highly respected authors, each of whom has taken a critical and reflective approach to the legacy of Froebel and made an unequivocal case for its relevance to modern, contemporary societies. Individually, each chapter provides an insight into the past and present application of Froebel’s principles to professional practice, projects or research, but collectively they stand as a testimony of the continued contribution of this seminal figure’s work to the future development of early childhood education. As such this book provides a rich resource to be plumbed by all those currently pursuing a reflective and action oriented approach to research, practice and policy in early childhood education and care. I believe anyone who engages with this handbook will be inspired and motivated by Froebel’s work, who stretches his hand across the years through these chapters to challenge and extend our current and future thinking, offering a set of guiding tenets which will ensure we adopt a similarly moral and informed stance as we work to develop quality services for all children and families wherever we reside."

    Professor Chris Pascal, Centre for Research in Early Childhood, UK

    "The Routledge International Handbook of Froebel and Early Childhood Practice: Re-articulating Research and Policy is a magisterial collection of papers about the Froebelian tradition in education and its renewal over the last two centuries. It is surely significant that this volume documents how Froebelian practice has brought hope and renewal in some of the most challenging environments for children on earth. Jacqui Cousins’s account of her project with Romanian orphans, and the work of Tina Bruce and Stella Louis in the settler camps of Kliptown in South Africa, particularly stand out.


    The Froebelian tradition is especially important in at least two respects.


    It has developed through processes of reflection and renewal over the years, whilst staying true to the values and principles of Frederich Froebel. The past informs, but does not control, the present. Much of the handbook is concerned with today’s pressing issues: children’s emotional wellbeing, involving parents in their children’s education, and developing appropriate curricula for 21st Century life.


    Secondly, the Froebelian tutors and educators connect with the people they work with, rather than imposing their beliefs and programmes. In Japan, South Africa and Romania, and in disadvantaged areas of the United Kingdom, the Froebelian approach is to develop respectful partnerships, to see communities and families as assets to treasure, not problems to solve.


    Froebel wrote that "children are like tiny flowers: they are varied and need care, but each is beautiful alone and glorious when seen in the community of peers." This collection of papers tells of important histories of thinking, questioning and reflecting, and a truly glorious community of practice."


    Dr Julian Grenier, Headteacher and National Leader of Education, UK.