Pioneers: McMillan and Issacs

Written by: Estelle Martin
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Here we examine the work, philosophy and influence of Margaret McMillan and Susan Isaacs.

Key points

  • McMillan was a great advocate of providing outdoor spaces for children to move with freedom
  • She believed that practitioners must look after the holistic needs of children, including the education, social, physical and emotional wellbeing
  • Isaacs encouraged nursery staff to allow children to make sense of the world at their own pace and through their own experiences
  • Some of the activities Isaacs encouraged have parallels in the modern Forest School approach

Note: This article was first published in the November 2007 edition of eye


The second part of our series looking at the work and theory of early childhood pioneers, explores two true greats of the sector, Margaret McMillan and Susan Isaacs, whose ideas are still as relevant today as they were in their own time.

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