Emmi Pikler ignited a flame that changed the lives of the young children at Loczy, a home for children in Budapest, and continues to inspire parents and educators to this day.
Light years ahead of her time, Pikler understood just how important the relationship between infant and carer, the care moments, free movement, self initiated play choices and uninterrupted play time were to a child's healthy development and wellbeing.
|Source: The Pikler Collection|
Magda Gerber, mentored by Emmi Pikler, traveled to Los Angeles and carried the flame with her. Gerber's Educaring® Approach incorporates:
"...a deep respect and appreciation of the baby as more than a helpless object, Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach encourages infants and adults to trust each other, learn to problem solve, and embrace their ability for self-discovery. When allowed to unfold in their own way and in their own time, children discover and inspire the best in themselves and in others."
- Resources for Infant Educarers
Gerber founded Resources for Infant Educarers, or RIE®, an organization that continues to teach her Educaring® approach to this day. RIE® has a mission to:
"Through our approach which honors infants and young children as equal members in relationships, we are dedicated to creating a culture of people who are authentic, resourceful and respectful. Our work is inspired by the natural integrity of infants and the formative power of relationships in their lives. When allowed to unfold in their own way and in their own time, children discover, manifest and inspire the best in themselves and in others. We are profoundly committed to sharing the opportunity to see infants with new eyes."
RIE ®associate Polly Elam, mentored by Magda Gerber, traveled to Australia carrying the flame to a group of Sydney educators attending the 2 week RIE® Foundations: Theory and Observation Course. As one of the lucky participants, my eyes were opened to new possibilities of a being with, and learning from babies within the context of an early childhood service.
Janet Lansbury and Lisa Sunbury Gerber carry the flame through their online presence in their blogs and on Facebook. Generous in the sharing of their knowledge and experience to newbies like me, Janet and Lisa are both inspiring and supporting parents and educators alike from all over the world.
We can't all create change on the level of these inspiring women but we can make a difference to the children in our care.
We can examine our core values and beliefs, and learn as much as we can about how young children learn, play and develop.
We can think about what we believe to be important in an infant curriculum.
We can understand the power of relationships; respect infants as individuals and trust in them as phenomenal learners.
We can give children the power to make their own play choices, and the time to follow their own play agendas.
We can mentor. We can share. We can advocate. We can model.
We can be the spark that ignites the flame in our own learning community.
Our babies deserve it!