Practitioner Inquiry

Course overview

This fully funded programme, sponsored by The Froebel Trust, is a practical exploration of how early years practitioners can be (and already are) front-line researchers contributing to real-world change.

Delivered in partnership with Local Authorities and others across Scotland, Greece and the Czech Republic, participants will design and conduct their own research project within their nursery or childcare setting. In doing so, they will consider the opportunities and challenges for embedding child-led, Froebelian principles in a variety of social contexts. Crucially, they will have the opportunity to join a Scotland-wide network of Froebelian practitioners generating and sharing the ideas and inspiration that will underpin tomorrow’s best practice for the early years.

Who is this for?

Practitioners must have already completed the University’s “Froebel in Childhood Practice” course. Participants are generally invited to apply by their Local Authority leads, but we welcome expressions of interest from any early years practitioner in Scotland.

What might I get from it?

The programme is certificated by The University of Edinburgh. We expect that participants will finish the course with a newfound confidence and set of practical tools, skills and networks to generate and share new learning directly gathered from children’s experience – for increased fulfilment at work, employability and the enhancement of children’s lives.

How to apply
To apply for the 2023 Practitioner Inquiry programme (online, nationwide) click here.

Video 1: an introduction to Practitioner Inquiry

Video 2: Rebecca describes her project

Dates and time commitment

In Scotland, the programme is delivered over 10 two hour sessions (Sept to March), with a small amount of preparatory reading for each session. Participants will be supported to carry out a specific piece of research (approx. 2-3 days max, mostly on the job) using ethical frameworks and methodologies covered on the programme. They will write this up as a short summary account. In addition, they will produce a simple flyer, poster or other document showing how they have shared their learning with children, colleagues and/or families.

Course structure

Includes sessions on Children’s Perspectives, Froebel’s Gifts and Occupations, Research Ethics, Research Methodologies, Project Planning, Dissemination and Impact.

Fees and support

This is a fully funded programme in 2021-2024, with thanks to The Froebel Trust.


Scottish practitioners: For more information about applying to this course, please contact your Local Authority early years lead or click the "How to apply" link above to express your interest directly. Alternatively you can reach us directly using the button below.

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Course materials

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