Froebel Fellowship 2002-2015

Ownership and autonomy in early learning


The Froebel Research Fellowship project was funded by the Froebel Trust from 2002-2015. The team included Prof David J Hargreaves, Dr Sue Robson and Mrs Sue Greenfield, University of Roehampton, UK; and Dr Hiroko Fumoto, Yew Chung Community College, Hong Kong. 


The project investigated the extent to which Froebelian ideals, such as the notion that children's knowledge should grow from within rather than from outside the child, might be met within the demands of contemporary early childhood education and care. 


The team investigated:

  • The attitudes and practices of practitioners in relation to the development of children's personal, social and cognitive skills in the curriculum using interviews, observations and questionnaires
  • Children's creative thinking and the effects of social relationships upon it: children's, parents' and practitioners' views were investigated
  • The distinction between play and learning at home and at school

The study encompassed the cognitive aspects of creativity; its social dimension; and emotional and motivational issues. 


Hear Prof David Hargreaves discuss his research into children's creativity, autonomy and ownership of their own learning, and how they compare with the ideas of Frederich Froebel at 


Please see the links below for more information. 


Journal of Early Childhood Research-2014[...]
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