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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Postgraduate Course: Pedagogy and Practice of Friedrich Froebel for the early years (EDUA11403)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course forms part of the MSc Education (Early Childhood Practice and Froebel) and provides an in-depth exploration of the educational philosophy and practice of Friedrich Froebel for the early years.
Course description The course runs in Semester 1 and develops students' advanced understanding of the educational philosophy and practice of Friedrich Froebel. Froebel's work has been adopted and carried forward in many early years settings and primary schools today. However, the source of the practice is not often proclaimed as Froebelian. In other words, much of current early years practice has re-created versions of Froebel's principles. This course will revisit the origins of the kindergarten, offer further explorations of Froebelian principles and enable innovative practical implementation, critically linked to current research, policy and theory in Childhood Practice, and in comparison to Scottish, European and international approaches and policies. This involves analysing the complex relationship between ideas that underpin the way educational professionals work with children and families, everyday practices and contemporary ideas concerning pedagogy, curriculum and assessment.

Students will be asked to locate themselves reflectively in their current and future practice, pose questions about their strengths (e.g. in relation to Froebelian principles), and consider the challenges of implementing Froebelian practice in a contemporary world. This requires students to take leadership roles, to work in integrated ways, and analyse the contexts of children's learning. Course participants will be asked to consider the historical context of Froebel's ideas and critically compare them to contemporary international ideas. In particular the course will investigate practical settings that have been influenced by Froebelian ideas and consider how these locations differ from other workplaces, how Froebel's ideas have been embedded/adapted to take account of contemporary social change and the implications for educational policy and practice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There will be 2 summative assessments:

Interactive Timeline: (40% weighting)
Students create an interactive timeline, starting from a Froebelian quote and tracing its history and evolution to present-day research and policies, presenting a critical analysis of its strengths and weaknesses. They will present this timeline by creating approx. ten slides on an interactive software such as Prezi (or alternative software as agreed with the course organiser).

Written Assignment: (60% weighting)
Students write a 3,000 word essay in which they critically discuss how they will implement the themes and arguments put forward in their interactive timeline in their current or future practice with children and families. They will locate this analysis against national and international legislation and policy developments and demonstrate how their engagement with literature from the course and beyond has influenced their development as a reflective practitioner.

Students need to achieve an overall grade of 40% across the two assessment tasks in order to pass this course.
Feedback Formative feedback opportunities will be provided throughout the course, for example through workshop group discussions in class, online group discussions facilitated on Learn, formative tasks, feedback on essay plans. Summative feedback on Task 1 will help students improve their work for Task 2.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of Froebelian principles and compare them to contemporary research and policy on pedagogy, curriculum and assessment.
  2. Critically discuss and analyse a variety of contrasting academic writings on childhood including Scottish, European and international ideas.
  3. Demonstrate extensive, detailed and critical awareness and understanding of opposing historical and topical perspectives on early childhood pedagogies.
  4. Confidently develop and employ an embedded/located approach to policy or practice and material provision in early childhood practice, or critically reflect on research about embedded/located approaches in early childhood practice.
  5. Develop and be able to apply critical awareness when considering concrete everyday settings or policies, particularly in relation to social divisions, life experiences, academic achievement and formalised approaches to child development.
Reading List
Wasmuth, H. (2020) Froebel¿s Pedagogy of Kindergarten and Play: Modifications in Germany and the United States ¿ Routledge Research in Early Childhood Education. (Chapter 1) (available from the MHSES library).

Gura, P. (2006) Becoming connoisseurs and critics: making sense of block play. Early Child Development and Care. Vol. 92 (1), pp. 69-81.

Nishida, Y. (2019) Something old, something new, something borrowed and something Froebel? The development of origami in early childhood education in Japan. Paedagogica Historica. Vol. 55 (4), pp. 529-547.

Goouch, K., and Powell, S. (2013) Orchestrating Professional Development for Baby Room Practitioners: Raising the Stakes in New Dialogic Encounters. Journal of Early Childhood Research. Vol. 11 (1) pp.78-92.

Froebel. F in K.J. Brehony (2001) ¿The Origins of Nursery Education¿ Friedrich Froebel and the English System. ¿The Children¿s Gardens and the Kindergarten¿. London: Routledge. pp.217-228.

Palmer, A., and Read, J. (2021) British Froebelian Women from the Mid-Nineteenth to Twenty-First Century. London: Routledge (available from the MHSES library).

Bruce, T., McNair, L., and Whinnett, J. (2020) Putting Storytelling at the Heart of Early Childhood Practice. London: Routledge.

McNair, L. J. and Powell, S. (2020) Froebel: A Path Least Trodden. Early Childhood and Development.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills creative presentation and ICT skills, critical and analytical skills applied to reading and writing, discussion skills, critical academic writing skills
KeywordsFroebel,childhood practice,early years pedagogy,early years policy,kindergarten
Course organiserDr Lynn McNair
Course secretaryMr Craig Russell
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