The Froebel Research Fellowship project 2002-2015

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    • 00:00

      DAVID HARGREAVES: My name is Professor David Hargreavesfrom the University of Roehampton in London, England,and I'm talking about an article which was recently publishedin the Journal of Early Childhood Research,and it's called "Ownership and Autonomyin Early Learning, The Froebel Research Fellowship Project

    • 00:21

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: 2002-2015."It's written by myself and my co-authors, whoare Sue Robson and Sue Greenfield from the Universityof Roehampton, and Hiroko Fumoto, whowas our colleague at the University of Roehampton,but is now working in Japan.The topic is creativity and autonomy,

    • 00:43

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: and ownership in young children's thinking.And the starting point was my appointmentas Froebel Research Fellow at the University of Roehampton,funding provided by what is now the Froebel trust.And I was funded to work with a team of researchersfrom the early years department to lookat the question of young children's creativity

    • 01:05

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: and autonomy, and to see if Froebel's theories held upin what's going on in early years education in the UKtoday.Well, Froebel was very keen on the ideathat young children's learning shouldhave autonomy and ownership.In other words, that in a sense, that learning

    • 01:27

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: should come from within the child,rather than from outside.He was against the idea of stamping knowledge,external knowledge, as he put it,and that it should come from within.And we've been trying to test the ways in which childrenand teachers, and their parents look at this question.This paper represents a survey of about 12 years of research,

    • 01:52

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: which has taken place in several different phases.In the first three phases, we wereinterested in the teacher's views.And so we interviewed teachers, we observed them in classrooms,and we had focus groups in which we quizzed them

    • 02:13

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: on what they thought about the issues of concern to us.And we found that all of them very clearly thoughtthat promoting children's thinkingwas important, that it should come from within the child,but they were almost uniformly equallyheld the view that they didn't have time to do it.Time was the big issue.

    • 02:35

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: Because of the demands of the early years foundation stagecurriculum, they found that their abilityto promote thinking wasn't impossible to fulfill.Then the fourth phase of the research, which actually therewere three parts to, we looked at children and parentsand teachers working together.So we used two techniques here.

    • 02:58

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: We used observation of children's play,and we developed some observation schedulesof our own to see what was going on in their behavior,and we also used a technique called video stimulated recall,in which we took videos of children's playin the playground, and then played those back

    • 03:20

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: to the children themselves, or the parents,and looked at what their reactions were.And one of the surprising findings that emerged from thatwas that the parents quite often didn't recognizetheir children's behavior in what theywere doing at nursery school.If you said that this particular child was showing

    • 03:43

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: certain forms of self regulation,or types of creativity, the parentmight say, oh, he doesn't do that.That can't be my child.It must be someone else.In other words, it was a kind of splitbetween the interpretations of the parents and the children.And then in the third phase of phase four,

    • 04:03

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: we looked at the social relationships of childrenand teachers using yet another methodological technique, whichis psychometric scales, and lookedat the inter-relationship between these two things.In other words, teachers' views of their relationshipswith the children, and their predictions about children'sthinking.And we found that there was a positive relationship.

    • 04:27

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: It seemed that the children who wereseen as having good relationships with the teachersdid well on being promoted for their creative thinking.In the fifth phase of the research,we looked at the difference between home and school,which at that time when we were doing it,it was quite a central issue.

    • 04:49

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: And we found that there were very clear differencesbetween what children did at homeand what they did at school.And the story I told you a minute ago about the parents'perceptions of these videos bears that out.Well, I think that the whole topic of early years experienceand its impact on later development

    • 05:10

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: is something that many people are interested in.It's becoming increasingly recognizedthat the experiences that you have in the early yearshave a strong impact on later development,so it's of interest to many, many people.And I think the implications are clearly important.What we're currently doing is to-- the project,

    • 05:34

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: in a way, has moved from looking at cognitive aspectsof early challenge to social ones,and the ways in which those influence one another,so that your social relationships affectyour cognitive development.And what we're now doing is looking at children'swell being and how people define that,which brings into the domain of emotion and motivation.

    • 05:55

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: Because essentially, if you don't feel good about yourself,then it's unlikely that you're goingto be able to develop good social relationships,or to develop cognitively.So that, in a way, probably underlies the whole healthphenomenon, and that's what we areinvestigating at the moment.

    • 06:17

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: I think I would advise them to lookat the different aspects of behavior, which I justmentioned.In other words the cognitive, the social, and the emotional,and try and separate that out.I would also perhaps look at the kindof social and political implications of this,in the sense that we started this researchby looking at how Froebel's ideas which, after all, were

    • 06:39

      DAVID HARGREAVES [continued]: developed 150 years ago, fit in with modern ideas, whichare to a considerable extent, in this country at least,politically driven.Thank you very much.

The Froebel Research Fellowship project 2002-2015

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Abstract

Professor David Hargreaves discusses his research into children's creativity, autonomy and ownership of their own learning, and how they compare with the ideas of Frederich Froebel.

The Froebel Research Fellowship project 2002-2015

Professor David Hargreaves discusses his research into children's creativity, autonomy and ownership of their own learning, and how they compare with the ideas of Frederich Froebel.

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