Partnerships in adult education for both teachers and parents

Project author:

Project summary:

Action research and reflection on leadership from a Froebelian perspective in an early earning and childcare community


Our school is located in the city of Athens, in the area of Neos Kosmos. Kindergarten attendance is compulsory for children from 4 to 6 years old and the classes are composed of children of all ages. The school has a common yard with the Primary school children, as well as a common entrance and exit. Our students come from different countries with different cultures. This results in working with non-Greek speaking children of different religions and beliefs. 

The current school year (2023-24) 6 people work in our school: 3 kindergarten teachers with a B.A degree in Education ,1 English teacher with a B.A. degree in English literature (permanent staff) ,1 social worker and 1 cleaner (not permanent staff). The number of employees depends on the number of students and the educational policy of the state. The previous school year 5 Kindergarten teachers ,1 English teacher and 1 cleaner worked in our school. The school is authorized by the Ministry of Education through the First Directorate of Athens. 

There is a recognition that the children 4-6 years of age are in a phase in its own right, requiring graduate teachers trained for this age phase. There is also the framework of the National curriculum which is common for all the kindergartens around the country. The kindergarten curriculum is close to the Elementary school and farther from the nursery school. 

Project title: partnerships in adult education for both teachers and parents.  

A Froebelian approach always starts where the child is, not where the adult thinks the child is or should be. The adult observes carefully, develops children’ interests and fascinations and also develops the positive aspects of a child’s behavior emphasizing on building friendly and consistent relationships among everyone who is involved in the school unit. When we say “everyone” we mean the children, the parents, the teachers and every employee in the school unit. 

What was our necessity and why:   

Our daily experience about our students’ behavior problems of their or the adaptation to the school environment or the constraints by the study program (curriculum) has demonstrated that the best practices are based on bonds of trust between the school and the families which might lead to substantial cooperation. It is also known that families may face difficulty to deal with their children’s problems either in the school or out of it, perhaps because they do not know how to get support or what to do. 

Froebel believed that a close connection between kindergarten and home will be beneficial to the children as they should feel a harmony and a continuity between the family and the school life. 

Ways to share information with parents can be found when relationships of trust have already been built. Sending out letters inviting parents to a meeting and then complaining because only a few were turned up, was not the right way to work in partnership with the families. On the contrary, sending video clips and power points and photos of children’s learning to parents might prove particularly successful in helping to extend children’s development and learning. 

The following example was the occasion and the cause, the starting point of this project which documents how powerful and vital the trust between school and family can be. Student X has recently come to the neighborhood and started attending our school program. The student is 5years and 2 months old, s/he speaks perfectly Greek although s/he is bilingual. Before the child came, we had already met with her/his mother twice and we had conversations about the little child. We quickly realized that there was a big gulf in what the mother believed about her child’s behavior and professionals ’observations. The mother insisted that her child is a child on his/her age, very clever and s/he will not have any problem to adapt the new school environment in the middle of the school year. On the contrary, the child had an intense anger, an impulsivity without any control, s/he was frustrated at the slightest cause and hit everyone with or without any reason. As a matter of fact s/he did realize exactly what s/he was doing and how her/his schoolmates might feel. Role playing about “what should I do if I were you” or “what should you do if you were me” led children and adults to make their own books with the title: “what if I were you” and began a project based on individual’s feelings and emotions which is still in progress. We visited the Touch Museum (the lighthouse of the blind of Greece), unique in Greece and one out of the 5 Museums of its kind in the world, which offers equal opportunity to the blind and partially sighted visitors, of all ages, from Greece or abroad to contact the grandeur and richness of our cultural heritage, through the sense of touch. It is a unique structure which informs and raises awareness to the wider community about the blindness and at the same time an alternative contact of the Ancient Greek culture through touch. The children were excited about the visit to the Museum, 5 parents (4 mothers and 1 father) came with us and they seemed pleased. When we came back one member of the staff (who didn’t come with us) instead of racing ahead, left the children to guide her by working with the clay by re-doing what they had seen and experienced to the museum. So, we have started making to let the children’s needs to lead us in supporting and extending. 

With the English teacher the children played the circle of happiness and sadness and talk about some of their feelings (6 English words and the song: “how are you, how are you?” 

We must minimize the exposure of young children to the violence they may experience either within the home or in their wider social environment or through the mass media. Violence leads to violence. 

What this experience led us to think 

Seeing the child as a whole person comes first and becomes the center of our work. We still take into consideration health issues, behavioral problems, possible learning difficulties, but these issues should not impede the learning process of the children. in addition, they should not have an absolute power over children, families and teachers. 

The Froebelian leadership showed us that everyone can lead, every voice should be heard and everyone should be empowered to learn in ways that might develop the curriculum, not in opposition with it. The curriculum is the navigational tool of the kindergarten teachers and Frobel’s principles have already enriched it. Constraints of the curriculum led the teachers to many discussions, agreements or disagreements but we came to realize the truth of what Froebel has said about children under 6: that they need merely to be developed, not to be schooled. The earlier in learning the better it is.  

Parents really know very much about their children so if shared knowledge or shared information is our aim, then we have to learn to listen to them. 

As a parent I understand how lonely, exhausting and stressful it is to raise children. Keeping in mind the African proverb which says that it takes a whole village to bring up a child, we must realize that every family is a part of a community and the communities should be supportive to the families. 

Froebelian education, as far as I can see, aims to cause thinking that leads to action in ways which lead to a better world. The ethos of a school does not come about through the literature and the numeracy that are taught. It comes about through the relationships and the atmosphere, set by the leadership and the teamwork in relation to the individual. The new teacher, or the trainee teacher or the child or the parent “comes into school with the hope that here s/he will be taught something which s/he cannot learn elsewhere, that here the hunger of his/her mind and heart will be satisfied”.Freobel in Lilley,1967) 

The partnership with parents leads us in what Froebel said: “the manner in which we are educated and in general treated in our earliest childhood has, as we all know, a remarkable influence upon our emotions, our thoughts, our actions, during the whole of our life”. (Froebel letter IV in Murray;1929) 

  • As a result, in collaboration with our supervisors and external specialists we designed family learning programs with an emphasis on families’ needs or their questions. 
  • In addition, the majority of the employees continue to attend seminars with an emphasis in Environment, Climate change. 
  • Our aim is to promote lifelong learning for both the families and teachers either in equal terms.  
  • Our aims in practice are therefore to strengthen the bonds between the kindergarten and the family, 
  • To empower the parents through further education and counseling on their children’s social and emotional growth. 
  • The school is connected in the Greek network of Schools ( is a network which connects all the schools and the pupils around the country from the age of 4 till up the last grade of secondary school) 

Further development: we are discussing about (and are trained in related programs) in 

  • E Twinning 
  • Erasmus KA2  

With the hope to offer invaluable advice and support to the teachers. 

  • Froebelian leadership gave me the opportunity to attend an excellent program in Early Learning and Child care and although my colleagues at school are currently trained in different seminars, we remain absolutely unique in a diverse world with a great respect to everyone else. I had also the privilege to listen to colleagues from other countries and I am grateful to them for sharing their ideas, questions and anxiety with me. 


  • Froebelian leadership -power point presentations 
  • Helen Tovey: Bringing the Froebel Approach to your Early Years practice 
  • Tina Bruce: Friedrich Froebel, A critical Introduction to key Themes and Debates- 
  • Scotland Education: How good is our early learning and childcare? 
  • Peter Senge: The fifth Discipline. 


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