Moray House School of Education and Sport

Froebel in childhood practice course

This course is designed for professionals working in Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) with a desire to learn about Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), one of the most significant of the early years pioneers, and how Froebelian methods are extremely relevant today.

 The Froebel in Childhood Practice course considers how a contemporary analysis of Froebel’s work can provide early years practitioners (and others interested in ELC) with insights into how they can observe, support and extend children’s learning. Participants will learn about the Froebelian kindergarten where children can grow and develop at their own pace, nurtured by knowledgeable and supportive adults. Participants will be encouraged and challenged to consider how this knowledge can enhance their professional practice. 

We run courses for local authorities and two open courses each year.

The Edinburgh Froebel in Childhood Practice course is one of only two courses in the UK endorsed by the Froebel Trust.

Froebel Trust website

For  information about other Froebel-related courses and activities in Scotland, visit the Froebelian Futures website.

Froebelian Futures Website 

Course content

  • An Introduction to Froebel’s Historic Heritage
  • Froebel’s Principles: Practice Today
  • Play, Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Equity
  • Professional Visit – Cowgate Under 5s Centre
  • Froebel and Inclusive Education
  • Froebel and Symbolic Representation
  • Play Outdoors, Adventure and Challenge: A Froebelian Perspective on the Nursery Garden Today

Learning objectives

  • To develop a critical understanding of Froebelian principles and compare them to contemporary research and policy on pedagogy, curriculum and assessment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a variety of contrasting academic writings on childhood including Scottish & International ideas.
  • Identify, analyse and synthesise opposing topical and historical representations of childhood.
  • To consider contemporary ideas concerning, social justice, diversity, anti-discrimination and equity in education.
  • To develop an embedded / located approach to policy, practice and material provision.
  • Critically consider concrete everyday settings (eg, your workplace) particularly in relation to social divisions, life experience, academic achievement and formalised approaches to child development

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for further information about the course.

Froebel in Childhood Practice Course Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)


Course Tutors include Current posts
Dr Lynn. J. McNair OBE Course Director (Froebel in Childhood Practice Course) and Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh; Head of the Cowgate Under 5’s Centre and
Dr Jane Read Emeritus Fellow at Roehampton University
Helen Tovey Principal Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Roehampton University
Jane Whinnett Froebel Trust Travelling Tutor and Former Head Teacher of Balgreen Nursery School and Hope Cottage Nursery School
Catriona Gill Education Officer (Early Years) / former Head Teacher of Greengables Nursery School & Family Centre

Course dates

In 2022 we are planning to run 2 open courses:

Course Dates Method of delivery
Summer Course 2022

Teaching: Tues 12 - Sat 16 July 2022

Final assignment likely to be due Feb 2023

In person in Edinburgh
Academic Year Course 2022/23

Teaching: 10 half-day online sessions, dates  and times below

Final assignment likely to be due June 2023

Sat 24 Sep 2022   09.30-12.30pm
Sat 8 Oct 2022   1.30-4.30pm
Sat 22 Oct 2022  1.30-4.30pm
Sat 26 Nov 2022  1.30-4.30pm 
Sat 10 Dec 2022  09.30-12.30pm
Sat 21 Jan 2023  09.30-12.30pm
Sat 4 Feb 2023  09.30-12.30pm
Sat 25 Feb 2023  09.30-12.30pm
Sat 11 Mar 2023  09.30-12.30pm
Sat 18 Mar 2023  09.30-12.30pm

The content of the courses is identical and it is only the pattern of teaching dates and method of delivery that are different.

Course fee


The course fee  covers tuition.  For face-to-face courses, participants are responsible for their own transport, accommodation and meals.

The University of Edinburgh requires payment of the course fee in full before the start of the course.

How to apply to join the Academic Year course 


A life changing experience

Current course tutor and former participant Catriona Gill describes the impact of the Froebel in Childhood Practice course in the blog post "Why I'm so relieved that I didn't quit teaching."

"Why I'm so relieved that I didn't quit teaching"

It changed my life. Not only was I able to deepen my fundamental understanding of early childhood practice , but I discovered a core set of principles which resonated with my beliefs and values and continue to guide my practice, my teaching and my life – and I now have the privilege of teaching on the same course and sharing my passion with others.

- Catriona Gill, Headteacher and Tutor

Quotes from past participants

I would love every person working with children in Early Years and Child Care to have the opportunity to experience this course.

I cannot find anything to improve this was the best piece of CPD I have ever undertaken and would recommend to anyone. There is a real sense of achievement at the end through your project work and meeting like-minded colleagues who can share practice across authorities is fantastic.

course participant 

Fantastic course, highly recommended to other practitioners.”

Loved the course, it's inspired me to make changes for the children.