BROWSE BY Category: Freedom to explore

Reflections on “Loczy”

“Loczy”, Is a residence for normal infants in need of full-time care in Budapest under the direction of Emmi Pikler, M.D., It is acknowledged as a model center for the study of infant development. Loczy has attracted visitors from all over the world. Caregiving is guided by:
An intimate, stable relationship with one person, developed during care-giving, where the infant is freely exploring and manipulating objects in a safe environment.

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Tis the Season To Be Jolly

I needed an upper in the tra-la-la swing of things. I called up Madge. I asked her about hopelessness. How can you feel ‘up’ after knowing what you know surrounds you? Madge understood my despair. She answered in a voice that was rich with Hungarian vibrato. “Wars? Violence? Cara, I cannot stop them. I don’t like to picket. What I do, what I like to do most is help parents and infants not make that much violence. When I am depressed all the world’s sad things get to me. And when my spirit gets high, I suddenly see all the many goods. My feelings are my prism. The world is exactly the same, but when I feel high – feel good about myself, then I can cope with it. I try not to be overly upset by things I cannot change. Look, Cara, it is much easier to give to the world, but to give to one person is harder yet.”

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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.

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On Loving

If one were to list all the cruelties and maltreatments, both physical and emotional, that parents and adults inflict on children under the guise of love, the list would be a long one. But, going beyond such sinister examples, even kissing and hugging may or may not convey to a child that he is loved. 

Love is a feeling, an emotional state. Artists, writers, philosophers, poets have tried to define it. Marcel Proust says, “Love is space and time measured by the heart.” What is space and time? It is the here and now. It is you. 

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Defining Educaring

What are the infants’ needs, beyond those for food, rest, warmth and hygiene? Most people would respond with the following: love, as demonstrated by rocking, fondling and body contact; and cognitive stimulation as demonstrated by an abundance of objects, teaching materials and lesson plans. These needs have become largely accepted and most centers try to meet them in different ways.

To attain a balance between adult stimulation and independent exploration by the infant, we focus on two areas of the infant’s life: the time spent with the adult who cares for the infant and the time the infant spends alone freely exploring his environment. Only a child who receives undivided attention from his educarer during all routine care-giving activities will be free and interested to explore his environment without needing too much intervention of the educarer. If the educarer understands that the infant needs both concentrated attention while being cared for and time to explore alone, she (he) also gains time for herself (himself).

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Dear Magda

Original RIE Manual

Learning and Teaching

Teaching is not a separate function. It is an everyday life experience. (Read How Children Learn [(1967)] and How Children Fail [(1964)], by John Holt.)

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Magda’s Writings

Magda Gerber’s Basic RIE Principles

Respect is the Guideline of RIE’s Philosophy. The Educarer shows respect, for example, by not picking up an infant without telling him beforehand, by talking directly to him, and not over him, and by waiting for the child’s response. 

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