Froebel’s pedagogy and principles underpin this proposal, which acknowledges the importance and value of the relationship between children, family members and practitioners, and the role of play as a central, integrating element in children’s development and learning (Froebel, c1826, trans 1912). The proposed project seeks to develop and implement a unique continuing professional development (CPD) model in early childhood education that is founded on the Froebelian principles of the interrelated nature of the child's growing relationships with others through play, addressing both practitioners and parents. The ultimate aim is to help practitioners and parents work together and enhance children's opportunities to play through holistic practice.
In this project, play is viewed, from a Froebelian perspective, as the expression of a young child's soul and a means for communication and learning (Froebel, c1826, trans 1912). Parent-child-practitioner play is regarded as a means for recognising the unity and connectedness of children with their families, communities, and settings/schools. The focus on the development, delivery and evaluation of this Froebelian CPD model will be on young children and families who experience economic challenges and may also be in disadvantaged settings. At the core of the proposed CPD will be the underpinning elements of the Froebelian pedagogy such as the power of play, the importance of knowledgeable and appropriately qualified staff, and the need for early years settings to be an integral part of the community, working in close partnership with parents and other skilled adults. The study aspires to offer a CPD model which will facilitate effective practitioners-parents partnerships, promoting the value and relevance of Froebel’s pedagogy in today’s early years education.