Spirituality in early childhood pedagogy: a Froebelian lens on the role of women in a Chinese context

Fengling Tang, Juan Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Frierich Froebel (1840:49) holds that the three conditions of educational training as ‘one undivided unity’ include ‘woman’s heart and woman’s life,’ ‘intimate union with genuine loving care of children’ and ‘true sense of communion with God’. Religious thinking in connection with Christianity as central to Froebelian philosophy has been observed by generations of Froebelians. The chapter examines the place of free thinking and argues for the placement of spirituality as a natural human predisposition that transcends religious-secular boundaries. The chapter focuses on spirituality in early childhood pedaogy via a Froebelian lens on women’s role in the Chinese context. The chapter demonstrates that Froebel’s concept of Unity has clear links to women educators‘ practices of supporting children’s spiritual development by addressing the importance of children’s engagement with nature through play in contemporary China. This chapter illustrates that a Froebelian lens opens up space for early childhood educators to nurture children’s spiritual development in the 21st century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Bloomsbury Handbook to Friedrich Froebel
EditorsTina Bruce, Yukiyo Nishida, Sacha Powell, Helge Wasmuth, Jane Whinnett
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781350323209
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023


  • Unity, spirituality, Froebelian pedagogy, early childhood education and care, play

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