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. 

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

Froebel Trust website

We run courses for local authorities and 2 open courses each year - an Intensive Summer Course and an Academic Year course. 

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)

Intensive Summer Course 2021 (Online)

This year's Intensive Summer Course will be held online.

The main teaching dates will be between Friday 9 July and Saturday 23 July 2021, with one final Saturday session in the autumn.

Students attending the Summer Course usually complete their assignments by February/March of the following year.   

Provisional teaching schedule

Date Time 
Friday 9 July 2021 09.30-12.30
Saturday 10 July 2021 09.30-12.30
Monday 12 July 2021 09.30-12.30
Tuesday 13 July 2021 09.30-10.30
Tuesday 13 July 2021 2 hours (late PM or evening)  
Wednesday 14 July 2021 09.30-12.30
Thursday 15 July 2021 09.30-11.30
Friday 16 July 2021 09.30-12.30
Saturday 17 July 2021 09.30-12.30
Monday 19 July 2021 1 hour (evening)
Saturday 24 July 2021 09.30-12.30
Saturday in Autumn 2021 (Date TBC) 3 hours

Apply to join the Froebel Intensive Summer Course 2021

Booking deadline: Monday 31 May 2021.

Academic Year Course 2021/22

We hope to be able to run the Academic Year Course face-to-face in Edinburgh. If this is not possible, we will offer equivalent online teaching.

The Academic Year course will start in October 2021 (exact dates TBC) 

Students attending the Academic Year Course usually complete their assignments by June of the following year

Booking deadline: Tuesday 31 August 2021

Course tutors

Course Tutors include Current posts
Dr Lynn. J. McNair OBE Programme Director (Froebel in Childhood Practice Course) and Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh; Head of the Cowgate Under 5’s Centre and
Professor Tina Bruce CBE

Previously External Examiner for the Froebel-based in-service course at Moray House in Edinburgh (face-to-face courses only)

Dr Jane Read Emeritus Fellow at Roehampton University
Helen Tovey Principal Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Roehampton University
Jane Whinnett Head Teacher of Balgreen Nursery School and Hope Cottage Nursery School
Catriona Gill Head Teacher of Greengables Nursery School & Family Centre

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.

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.

course participant 2019

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 2019

This course has completely changed my life. I have changed my career path and this course gave me the confidence to do so.

course participant 2019

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

course participant 2018