THE WISDOM OF MAGDA GERBER
seeing infants with new eyes
Preserving & Sharing
As a world-renowned child therapist and infant specialist, Magda was a leader in the field of early childhood education. Magda was a dynamic personality and unforgettable to all who knew her – charming, bold, eloquent, authentic. The mission of Magda Gerber Legacy is to preserve and share the unique spirit of Magda’s teachings so that her guidance may continue to enlighten and inspire parents and early childhood professionals for generations to come.
Get to know Magda
Magda Gerber was a passionate advocate for both children and parents. She inspired us to recognize babies as whole people from birth who deserve our respect and should be welcomed into the world as “honored guests.” The transformative lens she offered and the respect for babies she taught and modeled for us have made caring for our children easier, more intriguing, and profoundly more rewarding.
This site was created to share and honor her work.
Founding of RIE
Resources for Infant Educarers® (RIE®), a non-profit educational organization, was founded in 1978 by Magda Gerber and Dr. Tom Forrest. RIE offered the unique approach to infant care inspired by pediatrician Emmi Pikler which Magda titled Educaring. “We teach while we care.” Magda created a groundbreaking model for parent education through her RIE parent-infant classes, where participants are encouraged to sit, relax and learn from their baby’s natural self-directed activities and observe demonstrations of respectful adult-child interactions by a RIE facilitator.
Magda’s goal for RIE was to improve the quality of infant care, whether given in the home, in family daycare, or in a center-based setting.
Read the Original RIE Manual Articles
"Having Respect for the world is when you allow people to be what they are."
- Magda Gerber
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Madge Gerber met with a group of us at Queen of Angels Hospital. She discussed how to raise children gracefully without the stifling smother-love. Ms. Gerber showed us two mild-blowing films. “How Wonderful It Is To Bathe” showed a careperson bathing children while maintaining a constant, cheery, loving dialogue with each child. Like a fine piece of choreography, it had a kind of ritual to it. The children knew what the washcloth and soap were for, and, while the babies anticipated each step – were obviously cognizant of everything that was happening and was going to happen (we saw babies barely old enough to sit up and reach their arms to the woman to help her soap their tiny bodies) the older children (2 & 3 years) already held their own in this bubbly ballet.
Original RIE Manual
Toys should be sturdy but simple. I do not like busy toys. I like busy children manipulating their toys in many imaginative ways. Include objects that are safe and simple. These objects should be basic, able to be manipulated in many ways, and not requiring adult help or supervision. They should require the child to be active, not passive.