Let the children play - The Froebel Trust Annual Lecture recorded in November 2021.

This is a recording from the sold out 2021 lecture given by Professor Pasi Sahlberg.

During 'Let the children play' Pasi makes the case for the renaissance of play in our schools and families for the benefit of all children and their life success.

The slides shared during the lecture are available on Pasi Sahlberg's website.

The lifelong success of children is based on their ability to be creative and to apply the lessons learned from playing. The quality time that children spend on play has steadily decreased during the past two decades.

At the same time, global data suggest that children’s learning at school and wellbeing overall are not improving. Indeed, children do worse at school in both academic achievement and mental wellbeing. These common notions have been exacerbated by the ongoing global pandemic.

What is needed is to rethink play as a human right and the most natural way how all children can learn about the world around them and the treasures within them.

During the lecture, Abha Hurri, Dr Lynn McNair and Dr Lucy Parker respond to Pasi’s presentation.

About Professor Pasi Sahlberg

Pasi Sahlberg is a Finnish educator who has worked as teacher, policymaker and adviser to several governments around the world. He has held senior education expert posts at the World Bank in Washington, DC, at the European Commission, and at Finnish Government. Pasi is recipient of Grawemeyer Award in the U.S. (2013), Robert Owen Award in Scotland (2014), Lego Prize in Denmark (2016), Rockefeller Foundation’s Academic Writing Residency in Bellagio, Italy (2017), and Dr Paul Brock Memorial Medal in Australia (2021). His recent books are Let the Children Play: Why more play will save our schools and help children thrive (with William Doyle, 2019), In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish way to world-class schools (with Tim Walker, 2021) and Finnish Lessons 3.0: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland (2021).

Pasi was a visiting professor at Harvard University in 2014-2016 and holds adjunct professorships at the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu in Finland. He is a Professor of Education Policy at the University of New South Wales in Sydney where he lives with his family.

About Abha Hurri

Abha is Froebel Trust trustee. She's a barrister at Crown Office Row chambers in Brighton. As parent to a young child, Abha’s interest in early childhood education and care (ECEC) was sparked by her own search for nursery provision. Her quest to research and find play-based, child-centred approaches to ECEC led her to read the work of educationalists, such as Sir Ken Robinson. Abha’s values and views about education align closely with approaches commonly found in Finland – her husband’s home country – and the Froebel Trust’s principles.

About Dr Lynn McNair

Dr Lynn McNair is Head of Cowgate Under Fives Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Lynn has more than 30 years experience working in Early Years Education and was awarded an OBE for services to Early Education in 2009. Lynn is a trained Froebelian, attaining her certificate at the Froebel Institute, Roehampton University, London and an award-winning author. She is the Project Director of Froebelian Futures, a new three year programme funded by the Froebel Trust which aims to strengthen and deepen child and community-centred early years practice across Scotland.

About Dr Lucy Parker

Dr Lucy Parker is a Froebel Trust Trustee. She is Deputy Headteacher at Ludwick (Maintained) Nursery School in Hertfordshire. She has been instrumental in introducing a Froebelian approach at the nursery, including cookery and clay as core curriculum experiences. Lucy is a Froebel trained teacher and has received a BA, PGCE, MA and PhD from the University of Roehampton.