Play and creativity - The Froebel Trust Annual Lecture 2023 recorded in Oct. 2023

This is a recording of the lecture given by Prof. Tina Bruce (Oct. 2023)

Imagination is the rearrangement, the transformation, of past experience in new and fascinating ways... it is how children make sense and meaning of what they learn.

Prof. Tina Bruce
Froebel Trust Lecture 2023

During the lecture Professor Tina Bruce explores children's play and creativity - "Play is about wallowing in ideas, feelings and relationships...". She speaks about play "...creating possible, alternative, imagined worlds. These can lift children from real and literal situations to deeper kinds of imagining and creating ideas..."

She discusses the role of the adult in supporting and nurturing children's play and makes the case for why children need adults who can observe and extend their play:

"Adults need to be careful not to invade, overwhelm or extinguish the children’s possibilities for free flow play."

"Play helps adults realise what children already know, have been learning and what they can do, feel and understand."

The lecture was held in Cardiff, Wales on 5 Oct 2023 with an audience of educators working in early years setting and schools. Prof. Bruce is introduced by Gaynor Trimble (School Improvement Partner at South East Wales Education Achievement Service) and Dr Sacha Powell (CEO, Froebel Trust).

"Play is self-healing in most situations and brings an intellectual life that is self-aware, connected to others, community and the world beyond."

Prof. Tina Bruce
Froebel Trust Lecture 2023

During the lecture, Prof. Bruce shares photos and sections of her Froebel Trust pamphlet (published Sept. 2023). This is free to download and share.

Free to download

About Professor Tina Bruce CBE

Tina Bruce CBE, Honorary Professor, University of Roehampton, trained to be a teacher at the Froebel Educational Institute. She studied at Manchester University to work with children with hearing impairments. She was Head of the Froebel Nursery Research School at Froebel College, working with the Research Fellow, Chris Athey. She was External Examiner for Norland College and also at Moray House College, now part of the University of Edinburgh.

Tina co-ordinated the Ministerial Early Years Advisory Group (EEAG) for a decade. Her international work includes the USA, Germany, Portugal, Lithuania, New Zealand, Egypt and South Africa.

She is an author of books, educator and journal articles including Early Childhood Education (Hodder & Stoughton, now in its 5th edition), Time to Play in Early Childhood Education (1991) and her latest book Friedrich Froebel: A Critical Introduction to Key Themes and Debates (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021).

Tina has also edited several books including Early Childhood Practice: Froebel Today (Sage, 2012) and with co-editors Lynn McNair and Jane Whinnett, Putting Storytelling at the Heart of Early Childhood Practice: A Reflective Guide for Early Years Practitioners (Routledge, 2020).

She was residential expert presenting with Kirsty Wark on the six part series for BBC Radio 4, ‘Tuning into Children’.

She was awarded ‘Lifetime Achievement’ by Nursery World, and is a Vice President of Early Education, Associate of the Froebel Trust and a Patron of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE).

About Gaynor Brimble

Gaynor was appointed Professional Adviser to the Foundation Learning team in Welsh Government in 2020. She has helped to shape policy guidance across Wales through documentation, ‘A Curriculum for Funded Non Maintained Nursery Settings’ and most recently 'Assessment Arrangements for Funded Non Maintained Nursery Settings’.

Gaynor has long had an interest in young children and how they learn, with most of her teaching career spent in reception classes in socially deprived areas in Wales. She has a deep interest in children’s communication – particularly their creative expressions through mark making and drawing. She gained an MA in Early Literacy Difficulties in 2003 from the Institute of Education, London. Gaynor has completed the Froebel Trust Short Courses and is one of the founding members of the Wales Froebel Network (currently in its seedling stage).