Seeking Froebel's mother songs in daycare for babies

Powell, S., Goouch, K. and Werth, L. (2013) Seeking Froebel's mother songs in daycare for babies. In: TACTYC Annual Conference 2013, 1-2 November 2013, The ICC Birmingham, UK.

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In 2013, we undertook a small exploratory study that involved baby room practitioners who work in full daycare settings in southeast England caring for babies from 3 weeks to around 18 months of age. We had received funding from The Froebel Trust to examine whether Froebel’s principles for early childhood education and care and the particular emphasis he placed on singing with babies and young children resonated with contemporary practices in settings that did not express any affiliation to Froebelian ideas. We adopted an interpretative approach, used predominantly narrative methods for data collection (including practitioners’ reflections on filmed observations of their practice) and applied thematic methods for qualitative data analysis. Our enquiry was framed and guided by findings from our previous research into the processes and practice of baby rooms (Goouch and Powell 2013) and a rapid review of literature about the benefits of singing to/with babies and Froebel’s writings on the subject. Our initial conceptual framework was underpinned by four propositions, which guided our research questions and design for the study. Although this pilot left us with many questions requiring further exploration, we were reasonably confident that our four propositions had been affirmed by our enquiries. Namely, that singing can facilitate intimacy; supports language development; can be a means to improve relationships with families; and enhances the wellbeing of practitioners during their working day. But we also discovered that singing is not overtly promoted in policy nor are its multiple facets and benefits necessarily recognised in practice. Consequently, although the practitioners involved frequently demonstrated that they broadly concurred with Froebel’s ideas about the value of singing, they did so only when it was drawn to their attention. Also they were largely unaware of Froebel’s principles and any resonance was coincidental. But they were fascinated by the enquiry, keen to learn about research on singing and Froebel’s beliefs, enthusiastic in their engagement in the project and replete with suggestions about how they could explore singing as a tool for connecting with babies’ parents and home lives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Uncontrolled Keywords: babies, infants, daycare, carers, nursery, early childhood education and care, singing, songs, nursery rhymes
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ0755.7 Parents. Parenthood
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139.2 Early childhood education
M Music and Books on Music > M Music > M1495 Vocal music > M1497 Secular vocal music > M1900 Songs of specific groups or on specific topics
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Education > Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
Depositing User: Professor Sacha Powell
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 14:35
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:12

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00