The Froebel Trust funded study aims to investigate early years practitioners' understanding and enactment of learning through play, in relation to Froebelian principles and in resistance to statutory pressures to follow a more regulatory and didactic approach. A context is provided relating to the contemporary relevance of Froebel's ideas (Bruce, 2012, Tovey, 2013), and the limitations of government demands (Osgood,2006, 2010, Taggart (2011), goal-‐oriented discourses (Urban, 2008) and the 'schoolification' of the early years (Van Laere et al, 2012, p. 527). The study is underpinned by theories of identity and language (Bakhtin, 1986, Hollway, 1989, Vygotsky, 1978) and by Britzman's (2003) psychoanalytic approach. This study takes a dialogic perspective on the construction of meaning (Vygotsky, 1978, Britzman, 2003) and analyses interview data from 36 early years practitioners using a qualitative methodology with semi-‐structured interviews and open-‐ended questions. The research complies with ethical protocols (BERA, 2011, University of Roehampton, 2011). Procedures followed include obtaining informed consent, respecting confidentiality and anonymity: use of pseudonyms, settings not named. Audio-‐files and transcripts were stored with password-‐protection. The data shed light on the practitioners' priorities, such as play and children's autonomy. The study shows that many practitioners do not readily theorise their practice as Froebelian and they experience difficulties in articulating a theoretical basis to explain their practice in general. Finding a place for Froebel's theories would support early years practitioners as articulate advocates for quality ECE. Changes in policy and training are needed to achieve this.
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|Event||European Early Childhood Education Association (EECERA) Conference, 2017 - |
Duration: 30 Aug 2017 → 1 Sep 2017
|Conference||European Early Childhood Education Association (EECERA) Conference, 2017|
|Period||30/08/17 → 1/09/17|