This accessible text provides an international study of critical educational leaders who established the foundation for Early Childhood Education across continents in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It places each pioneer within the time and culture in which they lived to help the reader understand how theories and knowledge about early years education and care have evolved over time.

Early Years Pioneers in Context traces key themes such as play, child-initiated learning, working with parents, scaffolding children’s learning and the environment, enabling students to reflect on the differences and similarities between the pioneers and understand their contribution to practice today. Pioneers covered include:

  • Frederick Froebel;
  • Elizabeth Peabody;
  • Susan Blow;
  • Rudolf Steiner;
  • Margaret McMillan;
  • Maria Montessori
  • Susan Isaacs;
  • Loris Malaguzzi.

Featuring student integration tasks to help the reader link key ideas to their own practice, this will be essential reading for early years students on undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses.

chapter 2|15 pages

Early years pioneers

In the beginning

chapter 3|17 pages

Frederick Froebel (1782–1852)

The “garden of children”

chapter 4|17 pages

Elizabeth Peabody (1804–94)

Implementing Froebel's play-based learning

chapter 5|14 pages

Susan Blow (1843–1916)

Funding kindergartens and training professionals for American kindergartens in public education

chapter 6|18 pages

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925)

The anthroposophical approach

chapter 7|23 pages

Margaret McMillan (1860–1931)

The original ‘liberatory pedagogue'

chapter 8|19 pages

Maria Montessori (1870–1952)

Scientific pedagogy

chapter 9|16 pages

Susan Isaacs (1885–1948)

A message in a bottle

chapter 10|13 pages

Loris Malaguzzi (1920–94)

Liberatory pedagogy for democracy