The Infant Community
From the moment a child is born there is a strong will to adapt to an environment and a desire to be nurtured. The focus on human faces allows the newborn to perceive sensory information that will feed the brain and the immature psyche of this individual.
Language and independent movement are not present as yet and the infant will adopt basic emotions such as sadness (crying) when there is discomfort or peacefulness (sleep) when all needs are satisfied.
It is really evident that the work of this individual is to ‘become’ and take on the characteristics of a species: they have to move and communicate in the language spoken by the people around them and grow behaviours that express their personality and interaction with the environment.
In a Montessori Infant class, we are very aware of these early needs and our focus is movement, language and of course independence. Every human being wants to be independent, self-sufficient and capable and be what we can be. Maslow calls this Self-actualisation, the highest level of need acquired by individuals.
Therefore, the environment we need to provide for these young explorers must have elements to encourage movement, communication and simple activities to instil a sense of success. The environment and the new activities are developing new neural connections and due to the interactive nature of each activity the connections are formed in many areas of the brain. This will enhance learning later by providing an established foundation of knowledge and skill.
Our environment must foster the ability of each and every child; by offering a place that naturally supports ways of skill building. Parents become an intricate part of this process in our Infant Class and weave their beliefs and cultural understandings in the fabric of this future adult.
Our early years are not just a foundation of ‘who’ we will become but it is a time when we establish a deep, unconscious, sense of ‘how’ we relate to the world.
The Infant Community at CMS is working towards these objectives.