Program of Study: Assistants to Infancy
The Montessori Assistants to Infancy Training began in 1947 in Rome. Based on thousands of hours of observation of infants and very young children, the work predated many contemporary findings, including self-hypnosis for childbirth, gentle birth, the awareness of infants, the importance of touch and communication, as well as language, music and joy in the environment. Open space and interesting objects encourage free movement and exploration. Special clothing, furnishings and toys made with careful attention to detail are designed in response to the observed needs of the infant.
In 1980, Dr. Silvana Montanaro, a psychiatrist who lectured the courses in Rome, integrated the training with current research and offered the first AMI accredited Assistants to Infancy Training. In 1982, she brought this course to the U.S.
A to I students are prepared to work with parents perinatally, to assist with the infant at birth, to prepare beautiful and responsive environments, and to work in infant and toddler communities in schools, day care settings, hospitals and wherever children under age three are found.
A to I courses are two sessions long, with assignments in the intervening academic year. During the two sessions, students prepare their own reference manuals (albums) and timelines of child development. Some hand-made materials are required (you may be surprised by your hidden abilities.) Progressive relaxation sessions are offered daily.
First Session: September 11, 2017—November 3, 2017
The first session’s work begins with an overview of Montessori theory and practice, following the child’s natural development and focusing on the period from conception to age three. Obstetrics, hygiene, and nutrition cover the anatomy and physiology of reproduction, fetal development, birth, health issues, and the puerperium (the first eight weeks after birth). We consider the preparation of supportive and beautiful environments and their adaptation to the child’s changing needs; emphasis is on the home and family environment, but easily applied to group settings.
Between the two sessions, students complete 250 hours of observation of children from birth to three at home and in group settings. Each student completes one week of student teaching with children in either a Nido or Infant Community. During that week, the student is visited for support and evaluation by a course staff member, either in Denver or at one’s own location. Travel and lodging expenses are the student’s responsibility.
Second Session: September 10, 2018—November 9, 2018
The second session adds a study of child neuropsychiatry and of environments for children from 12 to 36 months in an Infant Community (out-of-home setting), including appropriate materials and activities.
The first session ends with a practice written examination and conference. Comprehensive written and oral examinations are given at the end of the second session – offering an opportunity to consolidate and share what was learned.