RIE® 2018 Conference Workshop Descriptions



Sue Bredekamp, Ph.D., Keynote:

“Magda Gerber: Poet & Prophet”

 Dr. Sue Bredekamp is an early childhood education specialist from Washington, DC who serves as a consultant on developmentally appropriate practice, curriculum, teaching, and professional development for national organizations such as NAEYC, Head Start, and the Council for Professional Recognition, state departments of education, and several universities. Fro, 1981 to 1998, she was Director of Accreditation and Professional Development for NAEYC where she developed and directed a national accreditation system for early childhood centers and schools. Dr. Bredekamp is the editor of NAEYC’s best-selling, highly influential publication, Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs.

Years ago, Dr. Bredekamp consulted Magda Gerber on her ground-breaking and enduring messages for being with babies when the second edition of her book, DAP was in the works (1987). Certain changes were made that reflected the Educaring® Approach in that next edition.




Begin with the Basics: Introducing The Educaring® Approach

Elizabeth Memel & Melissa Coyné                               Morning Session Only

The purpose of the workshop is to bring to first-time RIE® conferees a clear and basic understanding of Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach to infant caregiving. Through the use of lecture, videos and interactive exercises, the group will be given introductory information for incorporating RIE’s seven principles in a home or day care setting.

I See You: Facilitating the Weave of the Child’s Learning Through the Early Childhood Curriculum in New Zealand

Sharon Smith                                                                  Morning & Afternoon Sessions

In representing the holistic way children learn and grow this workshop explores how the perspectives within this curriculum and a focus on care enhances the learning and teaching within the respectful, responsive, reciprocal relationship.


 “I Like to Move It, Move It!”

Elsa Chahin & Paola Guraieb, MD                               Morning & Afternoon Sessions

This presentation will explore the role of self-initiated activity, and how infants and toddlers learn how to learn. Movement occurs progressively and predictably with the corticospinal system myelinating in a cephalo-caudal manner. Unfortunately, many believe that in order for children to learn to crawl or walk, they need to be taught.  Thankfully, neurological sciences are proving the theories of Pikler and Gerber: That young children learn from their own experiences without the adult directing them; and that the opportunity to move freely reinforces the child’s sense of self.


 Stonework Play… A Natural Adventure for Children, Parents and Teachers

Dr. Diana Suskind & Lee Fernandez                                          Morning Session
Dr. Diana Suskind & Beth Middleton                                        Afternoon Session

Stonework Play is a form of creative learning. It engages the senses and animates imagination, allowing each person to tell a story or make a unique pattern suggested by handling the stones. The weight, form and texture of each stone suggest artistic choices that result in original work. Stonework Play responds to the idea of nature’s power to enrich the imagination. It helps the artist, no matter how young, to explore and express emotions, thoughts and feelings through stone arrangements and the stories they elicit.

Participants will understand how Stonework Play began and its benefits.

  1. Self-Directed Learning and Autonomy
  2. Increased Focus and critical Thinking
  3. Sustained Involvement and Effort, Tarry Time & Fostering Meaningful Engagement


Caregiving Activities: Why Does Magda Gerber say that this IS the Curriculum?

Valorie Cole & Franny Higgins                                                       Morning Session Only

This workshop will explore the importance of nurturing children throughout the day, every day, in a responsive, respectful and reciprocal practice. This relationship is created through the quality, authenticity, and mindful interactions in the routines that make up a baby’s daily life: diapering, feeding, and sleeping. We will discuss genuine reciprocal communications (verbal and non-verbal), and the importance of observation and reflection.


Respectful Intervention: Helping Parents Cope

Karla Kuester                                                                                   Afternoon Session Only

In this workshop, we will briefly review development through the atypical lens, spotting special needs (including sensory issues) with an emphasis on observation. We will discuss respectful ways to approach parents to suggest further diagnostic assessment. We will revisit the importance of child avocation/educating practitioners and caregivers about narration (‘sports casting’) and other fundamental RIE parenting preferences.


Bringing the Educaring® Approach to the Childcare Setting: Case Studies and Guidance for Educaring Innovators

Jennifer Doebler , Carolyn Paetzel & Debbie Bergstrom                Afternoon Session Only

In this interactive workshop, we will explore the issues faced by Educarers® as they seek to implement the Educaring® Approach in their workplace. What obstacles confront the Educarer® or the Childcare Director?  Attendees will role-play and develop individualized plans of action for moving forward in their workplace.


The Phenomenology of Infant Movement: Action and Proprioception in Relation to the Floor

Marinda Keng Fan Chan                                                                  Afternoon Session Only

This workshop will explore the sensorimotor development of embodied knowledge, and how RIE has fostered the process of gaining ownership of the lived body of an infant. The workshop aims to cultivate an understanding of how infants’ perceive their bodies by using the floor as an extension of their bodies. Participants will also experience some gross motor movements down on the floor.