Magda Gerber

There is no other person I’ve read that so captures the heart of respect for children than Magda Gerber.

Educated as a linguist, Magda Gerber learned how children could be treated as competent people from her physician Emmi Pikler. She dedicated the rest of her life to understanding and teaching others how to understand what it means to respect the personhood of even our youngest children.

In 2016 I diligently listened to and transcribed a wonderful keynote speech that had been delivered by Gerber in 1979. In her talk, I heard her resilience and resolve around the issue of child care and a parent’s relationship with their child.

I will share just one quote from this keynote and then provide the document below.

RIE has developed a methodology which allows you, whether you are a parent or a professional caring for infants, to become aware of infants needs and how to meet them. And in the process you will hopefully become aware of your own needs and of how to synchronize those two.

The breadth and depth of practicing Magda’s approach is outside of the scope of the purpose of my website. Follow my blog if you care to read my family’s journey in practicing and learning how to respect our children and respect each other.

For digging deeply into establishing Magda’s approach as a framework for your family or daycare center then I recommend the work of Janet Lansbury. Her experience within the RIE framework and a close pupil of Magda Gerber herself makes her my favorite resource for understanding this authentic approach.

Magda Gerber Keynote Speech 1979

Philip Mott

I've been working with families for two decades now. I write about topics pertaining to parents of children ages 4-12.

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