What is RIE?
RIE is a philosophy and organisation founded by infant specialist Magda Gerber. RIE focuses on respectful care for infants and improving care for infants around the world. You will see the influence of the approach in many of our values, beliefs and practices with 0-3 year olds:
- Relationships are essential to learning, development and wellbeing
- The child is a self-learner
- The child as an explorer
- The child as an initiator of learning and play
- The environment is safe
- The environment is emotionally nurturing
- The environment is cognitively challenging
- The child has freedom to interact with other children
- The child is sensitively observed to meet his/her needs
- The child is involved in all care activities to allow the child to be an active participant
- There are clearly defined limits and care is consistent
How does this approach work?
The educaring approach is about the partnership between the infant and the educator. This works when an educator learns and understands a child’s cues and responds accordingly. The educator slows down and allows the infant to explore and learn from doing. The environment is calm, relaxing and simple. Resources are carefully chosen to allow for manipulation, exploration, discovery and problem solving. RIE is about respecting the infant as an individual and as a person. The educator enhances their understanding of the children by observing them and allowing them the bit of space they need to show us who they are and what they need.
Put simply, RIE and the educaring approach are about perceiving and acknowledging even the youngest children as unique, separate people with thoughts, needs and wishes of their own.
When we choose to see children in this way we raise children who are competent, confident, curious, attentive, exploring, cooperative, secure, peaceful, focused, self-initiating, resourceful, involved, inner-directed, aware and interested.
What more could we want than that?
If you would like more information on RIE and the educaring approach, here are some resources and links: