Where Pikler Meets Neuroscience Presentations

Description of Presentations

1) Zsuzsa Libertiny Executive Pedagogue of the Pikler® Daycare Center

The Relationship Is Our “Curriculum”. How does the relationship form between the adult and the young child in our daycare setting, and why it is important? This presentation will highlight some of the ideas learned from Dr. Pikler and how they continue to benefit caregivers, parents and young children. Since the 30’s, pioneer researcher and pediatrician, Dr. Emmi Pikler began her work with parents- and later with caregivers- on how to establish and maintain a caring relationship that enhances the young child’s competencies. Thus supporting the unfolding of his personality. Today, this work continues at the Pikler® Emmi Day Care, and provides us with an ongoing and unparalleled resource of collected observations, research, and training, that is well supported by current brain research.

2) Jutka Hafner, Pikler® Pedagogue

Building Trusting Relationship Based On the Young Child’s Initiatives. Trust is an essential component of a healthy, nurturing relationship with the child. In this presentation we will learn directly from an experienced Piklerian caregiver, through examples and observation, how the caregiver’s attitude facilitates the formation of a genuine and trusting relationship with infants and toddlers. Personal and professional experience gained as a caregiver for over 30 years, at both the former Pikler® Residential Nursery and currently at the Pikler® Emmi Day Care, will provide an in depth view of this topic; elaborating why Dr. Pikler believed,  “The relationship is all. It is a matter of life to the child”.

3) Peter L. Mangione, PhD. Co-director at WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies 

Early Relationship Experience: Nurturing Connections in the Baby’s Brain. This presentation will highlight how positive, predictable relationships build and nurture connections in the baby’s developing brain. As described by Dr. Emmi Pikler and her colleagues, responsive, predictable care, combined with giving the baby time to respond and explore, supports early brain development, self-regulation, and learning. The presentation will close with a focus on how the adult caregiver’s communication and language can connect with the baby’s experience and promote learning across all developmental domains.

4) Natasha Khazanov, PhD. Neuropsychologist, psychotherapist, Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF School of Medicine 

Emmi Pikler: a True Visionary. How Today ‘s Neuroscience Supports What Dr. Pikler Knew Seven Decades Ago (Risk and Protective Factors in the Early Stages of Brain Development). This presentation will discuss the importance of the first five years in a life of a child, and how early experiences shape the brain and create the mind. The price society pays for not providing respectful and peaceful care for young children is enormous, ranging from poor mental and physical health to criminality. Contemporary research on negative affects of adverse childhood experiences and what works in preventing lasting effects of early trauma will be presented.

5) Katherine Bussey. MEd. Chair of the Infant and Toddler Advocacy Network Australia (ITANA)  

It Starts To Do Something Inside You: The importance of care moments in the lives of teachers in New Zealand. This presentation will discuss recent research focused on moments in care and the impact of the practical nature of the work of Dr. Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber on teachers in New Zealand. This group of four teachers understood care as an integral part of curriculum in early childhood settings. The notion of care as curriculum connects to contemporary research on neuroscience and the positive connections that are made through responsive, connected, and intentional care moments where neurons fire together and wire together.

6) Debbie Laurin, PhD. Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan University

The Pikler approach, Proximal Processes, and Child Care Theory: Re-envisioning Infant- Toddler Diapering Practices for nurturing the relationship. This presentation proposes a theory of care, proximal processes in diapering (Laurin, 2017), that specifically addresses bodily care routines as a main tenet of infant and toddler pedagogy guided by theories that relate to child well-being to support optimal brain development.  When filtered through the adult’s caring, protective presence diaper changing is a key opportunity for a child to have an inner experience of what being cared-for is. Caregiver responsiveness and encouragement strongly predicted child well-being in a recent study examining diaper change practices in 30 infant and toddler group childcare settings.

7) Enid Elliot, PhD. Camosun College, Victoria, BC, Canada

Making meaning of the world through relationships. Emmi Pikler focused on relationships as key in an infant’s learning and well-being. Through relationships with adults and peers, their own bodies – and the materials of the world – infants and toddlers begin their dialogue with the world. Learning trust through the routines (rituals) of the day, connecting deeply and intimately with adults and developing relationships with the materials found in their environment, children begin to make meaning of their world and discover their own agency. Providing space and time for children to move freely encourages children to connect with their bodies becoming confident in their abilities to move. These multiple relationships engage them in the world.

8) Ken Jaffe, J.D. Founder, President & Global Director of ICRI (International Child Resource Institute) 

Pikler and the Neuroscience of Children’s Learning. As we delve more deeply into the remarkable work of Emmi Pikler, Anna Tardos, and their colleagues, we find a clear and significant link between the work by Dr. Pikler since the 1930’s, and the new wave of emergent curricula being utilized throughout the United States. This is demonstrated in the 52 Reggio programs, and in the accepted curricula in the countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and New Zealand. This presentation will review the links between Pikler® innovations and modern practice in early childhood care and education around the world. It will examine key aspects of neuroscience research from the perspective not only of scientists, but also of educators and psychologists.