Edinburgh launches Froebel book

The City of Edinburgh Council today joined publishers, SAGE, to launch a cutting edge book about early education practice.

'Early Childhood Practice: Froebel Today', describes some radical techniques devised by the famous German educationalist and explains how they can be applied to enhance the learning experiences of young children.

The preface of the book was written by City Education Leader, Councillor Marilyne MacLaren and contributing authors include Jane Whinnett, Head Teacher of Balgreen Nursery and Lynn McNair, Head of Cowgate Family Centre. It was edited by Professor Bruce CBE.

Froebel was a world-renowned expert on the learning and development needs of children from birth until the age of seven. He emphasised the importance of first hand experience, play, talk, reflection and an approach to learning that develops the child's autonomy and self confidence.

The educationalist was also concerned with creating an environment that is conducive to effective learning, by providing spaces that are physically safe, whilst being challenging and designed to promote their curiosity and aesthetic awareness.

Along with Dr John Davis of the University of Edinburgh, the authors of the book offer an accredited Froebel Certificate Course which trains 30 practitioners each year. The Council's aim is to have a Froebel-trained practitioner in every nursery in Edinburgh.

Speaking at the launch event, Councillor MacLaren, said: "This is an important publication and it is fitting that Edinburgh should play such a key part in its creation. We have supported the forward-looking and naturalist approach of Froebel in Edinburgh for many years and I believe that the education received by young children in the city has benefited as a result.

"For me, part of the emotional appeal of Froebel is that he is keen to allow children to be children.  He reinforces their natural curiosity, the innocent joy and fun of play, the desire to learn and to be creative."

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