Self-Initiated Movement: What, Why, and How
About the Course
Infants come into the world equipped with exquisite capacities to unfold their own unique motor journey up into verticality and walking. Our goal as adults is to “stay out of their way” so they can accomplish what they know how to do, while at the same time providing a nourishing, loving environment. There are strong forces in society today that are in opposition to self-initiated movement. One is to physically restrict their movements with baby equipment and screens. Another is to “teach” them motor skills—including sitting, walking, and later sports, yoga, etc.
What exactly does self-initiated movement look like at different stages of development—from infancy up into kindergarten? What is the difference between child-led movement and adult-taught movement, and how does each affect the child? Children come to childcare, preschool, and kindergarten settings with different movement biographies. Some may have moved freely from the start of life, and others not so much. Often, they have very different motor capacities. How may the teacher support the children, so all are safe and so all have opportunities for joyful movement experiences? Self-initiated movement impacts the child’s developing sensory integration, we will look at concrete examples of this. We will also explore free movement as one means of developing the will.
There will be a presentation with slides, experiential activities, and time for questions and discussion.
Jane Swain, a core faculty member, brings her life long experience, training, and research into children’s sensory motor development. Jane is a movement specialist and pediatric physical therapist, a graduate of the Level III training in Spacial Dynamics®, certified in Bothmer Gymnastics®, in Sensory Integration Praxis testing and Bobath/Neuro-developmental Treatment for children with Cerebral Palsy. Jane has studied at the Pikler Institute in Budapest. She has a special interest in the child’s integration of the primitive reflexes. Jane previously taught movement education in the early grades at the Monadnock Waldorf School and has provided classroom consultation and worked privately with children for many years. Jane is certified by the New Hampshire Child Development Bureau as an Early Childhood Master Professional Workshop Trainer.