CFP: International Froebel Society 7th Biennial Conference

What does it mean to understand Froebel? – Working on, with and according to Froebel today

Lutheran Froebel Training Institute
Kassel, Germany
23-25 June 2016

Nationally and internationally, we see today a broad variety of opportunities to value Froebel pedagogy in terms of both theoretical and/or practical interests. The range of readings and applications covers philologically exact reconstructions of the “authentic” Froebel as well as modernized interpretations and even some divergent forms of practical transfer into concrete kindergarten work. An important aim of the conference is to provide a forum for the different forms of work and research onwith and according to Froebel worldwide, and to offer opportunities for dialogue and mutual exchange about individuals’ access to and the handling of Froebelian pedagogy.

The conference seeks not only to explore some of the potentially endless possibilities of understanding and putting Froebel into practice; it also seeks to critically analyse the many means of applying Froebel: on the one hand it seems clear that there is not only one “correct” way of interpreting Froebel and of working with him; it is not true that any and every form of Froebel adaptation can hence be considered as “right” and “legitimate” and be respected as such.

Given these perspectives, the 2016 Biennial IFS Conference thus invites presentations that question “authenticity” in innovative ways. How can legitimate and justified forms of theoretical and practical Froebel interpretation be distinguished from illegitimate and problematic forms of Froebel use, including those that might be dictated largely or solely by commercial interests? Moreover, if work on, with and according to Froebel includes working in his “spirit” or from his perspective it has to be asked what that might actually mean today.

With these goals in mind, we invite to the 2016 Biennial IFS Conference in Kassel all who — according to their own understanding — study or practice Froebelian education, whether in historical, theoretical and/or pragmatic-practical terms. Our aim is to foster a vivid exchange and to clarify and discuss the different understandings and existences of Froebel and Froebelian education.

The following researchers have consented to deliver keynotes:

Prof. Dr. Frithjof Grell (University of Bamberg, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Helen May (University of Otago, New Zealand) President, International Froebel Society

Prof. Dr. Michael Winkler (University of Jena, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Helmut Heiland (University of Duisburg, Germany)

Possible topics

  • Theoretical and/or historical approaches to the pedagogy of Friedrich Froebel
  • Fundamental questions and problems of Froebel reception
  • National, international or historical forms of Froebel appropriation and use
  • Topical forms of Froebel appropriation and use
  • Concrete projects working with and according to Froebel (for example garden, movement/motion games, singing)
  • Other theoretical and/or practical contributions related to the pedagogy of Friedrich Froebel

The deadline for submission of presentation proposals is December 15, 2015.

Your proposal should contain the following information:

  •  Title of the presentation
  • Form/mode of the presentation (e.g. presentation, poster, or workshop; other, innovative forms of presentation are also welcome)
  • An abstract of 250 words referring to your topic and its relevance to the
  • conference and its themes. The aims of the research/work, its theoretical and conceptual framework, methodological approach and any key findings should be described.
  • Necessary audio-visual equipment
  • Four keywords of the presentation
  • Presenter’s name and institutional affiliation (if any)
  • Presenter’s contact details: postal address and e-mail-address (for publication in the conference programme)

All abstracts will be made available to conference participants.

Please send your proposal as e-mail attachment to Andrea Matheis (  Questions concerning the conference may also be directed to that address.

The conference languages are English and German. Details about the conference location and registration will soon be made available on the IFS’s Germany website,, and on its English-language site,

We plan to publish a selection of the papers in book form after the conference.