In a child’s first phase of life the foundations are laid for the child’s healthy development. The prepared environment of the MIC Montessori Infant Community allows a stimulating and safe atmosphere, which offers the children security while they make experiences, learn and experiment in social interactions. Children experience themselves and their actions as individuals and in multi-aged and multi-cultured groups. The children can try out various roles and develop their personalities in the interaction with other children and adults. The children experience and discover their own culture and language as well as those of others.
The teachers accompany the child in this phase of his/her development with awareness and responsibility. In correspondence with the sensitive periods of the child the teachers foster the child’s linguistic, social, intellectual and emotional development. They are able to see and understand each child’s need for individual contact, bodily hygiene or care on a mental, psychological and physical level as well as taking into account the needs of the group as a whole. In situations of joy, sorrow or in arguments, they support the child where necessary.
Everyday situations in the multi-age group provide opportunities for pedagogical actions and interventions and are to be understood in the immediate context of the child’s experience. Limits are lovingly and consistently set and called for by the teachers. They give the children structure and orientation in their environment and help them feel accepted.
Physical or psychological lapses are made impossible by an open door policy and through transparent actions.
Spatially, the MIC resembles an apartment with kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area and a living room, which also serves as a playroom. The aim and object of this partitioning is to give the child an appropriate idea of our culture’s way of living as well as providing a maximum amount of orderliness and structure in everyday life. Daily activities and routines will be performed in the same way in the appropriate rooms and thus add to the safety and security of the child.
There are rooms for older children as well as a baby room for children from the age of 5 months. On the one hand these rooms provide a place to retreat to and feel safe, on the other hand they allow the greatest possible independence, room for movement, play and contact.
With regard to content MIC guarantees materials and activities which are tuned to the child’s level of psychological development. They foster motor activity, language, social and cognitive abilities and help to deal with everyday life (exercises in practical living). The children can use these activities and materials as independently as possible and are free to choose the time and the work place.
Rhythmical and musical teaching is highly valued. Rhythm, movement, dancing, singing, playing an instrument and rhyming are strongly promoted as they are the basis for a mathematical and logical understanding. Besides achieving physical adeptness and security it is also an aim to leave room for the child’s pleasure in movement, to keep alive the child’s perception of his/her body, to differentiate and to let the child experience the dimensions of space and time.
Furthermore the child can train his/her own sense of sound, rhythm and melody and train his/her ability to concentrate and react to sound, tone and rhythm.
All this immensely helps the development of language. With a rich vocabulary and a clearly structured speech the child is supported in his/her language development so that s/he eventually learns to express emotions, experiences and thoughts in his/her mother tongue(s). The child can verbally exchange ideas with others and play with language individually.
Games in the circle and rhyming games will be offered in small groups as are activities in woodwork, handicraft and painting.