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Title: The Froebel Movement in Britain, 1900-1939
Author: Read, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 2425 0475
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis analyses the development of the Froebel movement in Britain from 1900-1939, a critical period with challenges to Froebelian hegemony in early childhood education from new pedagogical models, organisations and disciplines, and from critiques of conservative orthodoxy. It argues that Froebelians were successful in meeting these challenges through pedagogic revision and through realignment of British Froebelians’ focus on the kindergarten to encompass children in junior schools. The findings build on previous studies, providing an in-depth account which concludes that by 1939 Froebelians had a revitalised central organisational structure and a sound base for what had become a major national movement. The thesis claims that revisionist Froebelian pedagogy provided the foundation for practice in nursery, infant and junior schools, reflected in the recommendations of the Consultative Committee Reports of 1908, 1931 and 1933. These successes were driven by relationships formed by the Froebel Society, with organisations, notably the Nursery School Association, and with modernising officials in the Board of Education. The thesis argues that Froebelian women achieved some success in negotiating gendered power relations and presents biographical snapshots to show how ambitious career paths were pursued to advance Froebelian agendas. A qualitative approach was employed, drawing on interpretive frameworks from history, history of education, sociology, gender and cultural studies, with documentary analysis of private records from Froebelian organisations and the Nursery School Association, public records from the Board of Education and the London County Council and secondary published sources. The thesis concludes that despite successes Froebelians were not able to overcome contemporary patriarchal discourse which granted low status to women’s role as nursery and infant teachers and to the education of young children. Froebelians remained an élite and overwhelmingly chose careers in private schools, but nevertheless achieved some success in implementing Froebelian approaches in state nursery, infant and junior schools.
Supervisor: Brehony, Kevin ; Nawrotzki, Kristen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Friedrich Froebel ; Froebel movement ; pedagogy