“A Pleasant Way of Teaching the Little Ones to Recognise Flowers”: Instructional Nature Plays in Early 20th Century Britain

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/612272
Title:
“A Pleasant Way of Teaching the Little Ones to Recognise Flowers”: Instructional Nature Plays in Early 20th Century Britain
Authors:
Palmer, Amy
Abstract:
This article analyses plays written for child performers in the early twentieth century. The plays chosen are classified as “instructional” and aimed at developing pupils’ knowledge of the curriculum. The focus is on understanding why these plays were useful for Froebelian educators in the period. Friedrich Froebel (1782–1852) was a German pedagogue, who is most widely known for establishing the kindergarten movement and for promoting child-centred learning. The use of instructional drama was appealing to many of his followers, as it chimed with their understanding of the need for experiential approaches to education. Nature study was particularly important to Froebel, and therefore this article evaluates instructional plays about the natural world, offering a close examination of five examples. They contain active, holistic and multi-sensory learning experiences which would have appealed to Froebelian teachers. They all use elements of anthropomorphism and some also use fairies to engage children with the subject matter. Such devices could be problematic in texts that were written for the purpose of teaching scientific realities and the representation of a human sensibility trapped in plant or animal form could sometimes result in emotionally distressing situations. However, the medium of drama gave children the power to make their own meaning from the material presented, perhaps through re-interpreting the plot with unscripted actions or through lightening the mood with a touch of humour. This was an advantage which the plays had over other forms of literature. These works merit increased respect as educational tools that supported innovative learning.
Affiliation:
University of Roehampton
Citation:
“A Pleasant Way of Teaching the Little Ones to Recognise Flowers”: Instructional Nature Plays in Early 20th Century Britain 2016 Children's Literature in Education
Publisher:
Springer
Journal:
Children's Literature in Education
Issue Date:
2-Jun-2016
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/612272
DOI:
10.1007/s10583-016-9283-5
Additional Links:
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10583-016-9283-5
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
This document is the author’s final manuscript which includes any agreed revisions arising from the peer-review process, however some minor differences between this version and the published version may remain. You are advised to consult the publishers version if you wish to cite from it. Accepted Date: 04/05/2016; Version: Author Manuscript / Post-Print; Exceptions: None.
ISSN:
0045-6713; 1573-1693
Appears in Collections:
Department of Education Collection

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPalmer, Amyen
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-09T09:29:16Zen
dc.date.available2016-06-09T09:29:16Zen
dc.date.issued2016-06-02en
dc.identifier.citation“A Pleasant Way of Teaching the Little Ones to Recognise Flowers”: Instructional Nature Plays in Early 20th Century Britain 2016 Children's Literature in Educationen
dc.identifier.issn0045-6713en
dc.identifier.issn1573-1693en
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s10583-016-9283-5en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10142/612272en
dc.descriptionThis document is the author’s final manuscript which includes any agreed revisions arising from the peer-review process, however some minor differences between this version and the published version may remain. You are advised to consult the publishers version if you wish to cite from it. Accepted Date: 04/05/2016; Version: Author Manuscript / Post-Print; Exceptions: None.en
dc.description.abstractThis article analyses plays written for child performers in the early twentieth century. The plays chosen are classified as “instructional” and aimed at developing pupils’ knowledge of the curriculum. The focus is on understanding why these plays were useful for Froebelian educators in the period. Friedrich Froebel (1782–1852) was a German pedagogue, who is most widely known for establishing the kindergarten movement and for promoting child-centred learning. The use of instructional drama was appealing to many of his followers, as it chimed with their understanding of the need for experiential approaches to education. Nature study was particularly important to Froebel, and therefore this article evaluates instructional plays about the natural world, offering a close examination of five examples. They contain active, holistic and multi-sensory learning experiences which would have appealed to Froebelian teachers. They all use elements of anthropomorphism and some also use fairies to engage children with the subject matter. Such devices could be problematic in texts that were written for the purpose of teaching scientific realities and the representation of a human sensibility trapped in plant or animal form could sometimes result in emotionally distressing situations. However, the medium of drama gave children the power to make their own meaning from the material presented, perhaps through re-interpreting the plot with unscripted actions or through lightening the mood with a touch of humour. This was an advantage which the plays had over other forms of literature. These works merit increased respect as educational tools that supported innovative learning.en
dc.description.provenanceSubmitted by Camilla Griffiths (camilla.griffiths@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2016-06-09T09:27:41Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Amy Palmer Children's Literature in Education.pdf: 130934 bytes, checksum: 80454276591c8450f2ff676b62e1112c (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceApproved for entry into archive by Camilla Griffiths (camilla.griffiths@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2016-06-09T09:29:15Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Amy Palmer Children's Literature in Education.pdf: 130934 bytes, checksum: 80454276591c8450f2ff676b62e1112c (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2016-06-09T09:29:16Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Amy Palmer Children's Literature in Education.pdf: 130934 bytes, checksum: 80454276591c8450f2ff676b62e1112c (MD5) Previous issue date: 2016-06-02en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherSpringeren
dc.relation.urlhttp://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10583-016-9283-5en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Children's Literature in Educationen
dc.title“A Pleasant Way of Teaching the Little Ones to Recognise Flowers”: Instructional Nature Plays in Early 20th Century Britainen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Roehamptonen
dc.identifier.journalChildren's Literature in Educationen
All Items in RURR are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.