At Sapphires Nursery School our approach to children’s learning is underpinned by Froebel’s principles.
Who was Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852)
Born on 21 April 1782 Friedrich Froebel was a German educator who invented the kindergarten. He believed that "play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in the child's soul." According to Froebel, in play children construct their understanding of the world through direct experience with it. His ideas about learning through nature and the importance of play have spread throughout the world.
Froebel believed all children have a desire to build close relationships built on respect. Respect relates to the environment and resources as well as people. Freedom with Guidance gives children respect to learn as individuals within the guidance of environment boundaries as well as guidance of supportive adults teaching new skills.
Froebel believed the community was essential to children’s development. Understanding ‘my place’ within the community (Nursery, home, church, nature etc) is important to then understand the Unity and is important to then understand the Unity and where I fit within this. Froebel formed ‘Mother Songs’ which aid the very youngest children to begin to learn about life around them, develop physically and to encourage strong bonds between parents/carers and children.
Froebel believed it was important to encourage children to use the environment as a learning aid. By helping them to connect similarities and differences and ‘linkalways-link’ they will find it easier to understand the difference between Real Life and then benefit from the later development stage of Symbolic Representation (using something to signify something else)
Learning & Development:
Froebel was the first person to value educating children under 7 years. He believed learning was a journey from birth to death, he believed that ‘at every stage you should be that stage.’ Froebel believed that we should ‘start where the learner is’, when teaching them – knowing their starting point.
Creativity: Froebel believed that all children have an intrinsic desire to create in unique and dynamic ways. He felt one way inner thoughts and knowledge is demonstrated is through outer creativity (role play, artwork, music, construction etc) Learning is then built on from this creative involvement, therefore having further inner thoughts and knowledge. Froebel described this as ‘making the inner-outer and the outer-inner’
Well-Qualified Early Years’ Professionals:
Froebel pioneered women as educators for young children, previously this had been a male dominated role. He recognised the importance of professional training for educators, he set up the first women training colleges
Froebel believed the environment was vital to development. He believed this should ‘open up learning opportunities’ for children, be full of natural, open-ended loose parts which children can explore as well as learn new skills from supportive adults to then take into their own self-directive play.