Froebel Trust program makes moves to boost Froebelian training in UK early years
Early childhood educators in the UK will soon benefit from a new £1 million (AUD$1,829,263) investment in Froebelian education via a major new Froebel Trust funding programme designed to increase understanding of a Froebelian approach to early education.
Friedrich Froebel was a German teacher and education reformer who lived and practised in the early to mid-1800s. Mr Froebel created the very first kindergarten. The trust named in his honour funds practice development and research into education and learning from birth to eight years.
The programme aims to foster collaboration in the early years sector and provide Froebelian training for more early years educators, and give the opportunity for more young children to access a Froebelian approach to early education – with plenty of outdoor play, creativity, learning through nature, Dr Sacha Powell, Froebel Trust CEO explained.
Following several years of planning and a competitive application and selection process, two project teams have been chosen by the Froebel Trust to each receive funding. The teams will undertake intensive research, Froebelian practice development and community engagement projects over the next three years.
In Scotland, the Froebelian Futures team will be led by Dr Lynn McNair from the University of Edinburgh and Lian Higgins of the Cowgate Under 5’s Centre. The team will work in collaboration with local authorities across Scotland and colleagues in the Czech Republic and Greece with a particular emphasis on the development of Froebelian leadership.
“It feels more necessary now than ever to celebrate children’s multiple childhoods and drive forward child-centred practices,” Dr McNair said. “We are particularly interested in the entanglement and complexity of children’s lives, believing that diversity matters.”
In England and New Zealand, the Froebel Partnership team will be led by Sally Cave (Guildford Nursery School and Family Centre), Professor Chris Pascal (Centre for Research in Early Childhood) and Anne Denham (AMA Associates, Auckland). The team will work in collaboration with schools and settings across England, the European Early Childhood Education Research Association, and early learning organisations including Kindergarten Associations across New Zealand and the New Zealand Ministry of Education.
“As Froebel said, ‘I wanted to educate people to be free, to think, to take action for themselves.’ Has there ever been a time when Froebel’s principles have mattered more? His principles and pedagogy can guide us all as we build together a more equitable early childhood education (ECE) for our young children, their families and ECE staff,” Ms Cave said.
The Froebel Trust will share the outcomes of the two projects in a series of reports, evaluations and events designed to share learning, robust evidence and results from this innovative and collaborative programme.
For more details about the initiative or to contact the project teams please contact [email protected]