Montessori’s Youngest Students: Infants and Toddlers

Montessori’s Youngest Students: Infants and Toddlers

Interest is building in our new program for infants ages 6-16 months. The Bambini program for infants is offered for full and part-time enrollment. The classroom is carefully and beautifully designed to allow freedom of movement and respect for the child’s natural rhythms. The educators are nurturing and caring and hold certification as Montessori infant/toddler guides. For deeper insight into the Montessori infant and toddler environments at Winfield Children’s House, we are sharing from an article¬† in the January 2014 issue of Tomorrow’s Child Magazine, the magazine for Montessori families. “Montessori’s Youngest Students: Infants and Toddler” by Terri Sherrill Dr. Montessori wrote: “If the human personality is one at all stages of its development, we must conceive of a principle of education that has regard for all stages.” Rather than relying on preconceived notions about the early years of life, she brought her medical knowledge of anatomy and neurology to her observations of childhood. She realized that many of the previous assumptions and responses to children were actually in direction conflict with human biology, and when provided environments that were in harmony with the process of development, much of what adults had perceived to be “misbehavior” in children….simply fell away. Montessori was one of the first to understand that the brain (as well as the body) was still in the process of formation for the first few years after we are born – and that lasting outcomes are highly dependent on our physical encounters and experiences during the period. Through a profound respect for the biological laws of nature and for the unique genetic blueprints, drives and gifts of each individual, Dr. Montessori sought to understand and provide children with their daily requirements for health and well-being. Applied Science A parent’s ears will often perk up when children get a little too quiet. They know this means, more often then not, that “the kids must really be getting into something!” Making a study of what children universally “get into,” Dr. Montessori discovered many sensitive periods of brain development (the time when millions of neurons are being ‘programmed’ to perceive the stimulus found in their immediate surroundings, and the cognitive architecture for thought and action is being created). She wrote, “None of these sensitivities occupies the whole period of development…While it lasts, there is an outpouring of energy.” Instead of thwarting a child’s drives, Dr. Montessori provided appropriate means for their healthy expression. She noted that industrialization had radically altered the childhood experiences that had naturally occurred for millennia; therefore, she worked to synthesize and restore vital experiences replete with physiological benefits and implicit information. Indeed, speaking similarly, Sally Goddard Blythe, Direction of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology warned in...

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