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Primary Caregiving: a way of being

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Abstract

Curriculum approach to teaching and learning. This approach is based on a stance of utmost respect for the child. Key components of this approach include: (i) the use of a primary caregiving system; (ii) sensitive observation; and (iii) freedom of movement. Inspired by the work of Emmi Pikler (McBride, 2008; Tardos, 2007) and Magda Gerber (2002), at Childspace Ngaio Infants and Toddlers we have created a peaceful environment which allows children to discover as much as possible on their own. With the comfort of knowing that a familiar adult is close by, fully present and sensitively observing their cues and gestures, the child can look forward to the next care moment when they will be engaged in the another intimate dance of cooperation and togetherness (Kibble, 2007; Trevarthen, 2002). This is a place where relationships are the key to everything else that goes on. This is a place where a child is able to discover the environment and gain knowledge about it on their own terms. During the 18-month period of this COI project, the Childspace teaching team worked through one action research cycle in which they focused on documenting their use of a primary caregiving system and on deepening their understanding of its impact.
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