Introduction to Module III: Facilitating Learning and Development with Infants
This session introduces Module III by giving an overview of brain development, early learning, and appropriate curriculum planning for infants and toddlers. Participants watch the DVD The Next Step: Including the Infant in the Curriculum, which presents four domains of the infant’s curriculum: physical development, social relationships, language development, and intellectual development. The PITC’s view of infants as active, self-motivated learners is explained. The perspective that is presented can be summed up in the following way: “All children are born wired for feelings and ready to learn” when provided nurturing relationships and a peaceful but engaging environment. In addition to focusing on the infant’s curriculum, the DVD illustrates three strategies that infant care teachers can use to support early learning: adapt, support practice and repetition, and expand learning. more >>

Brain Development in Infants and Toddlers
This session outlines key aspects of early brain development and presents major findings from recent research. Emphasis is placed on findings that are most relevant to the care of infants and toddlers in groups. Topics addressed include: the effect of stress on early brain development; the importance of appropriate stimulation; the benefits of nurturing, responsive care in development; and the potential long-term consequences to the child of inappropriate, neglectful, or unresponsive care. more >>

Discoveries of Infancy
A central feature of this session is that participants view the DVD Discoveries of Infancy: Cognitive Development and Learning one segment at a time, with extended commentary by the presenter, followed by discussion. Each segment focuses on one of the “discoveries” first identified by Jean Piaget. In the DVD, each discovery is illustrated by scenes of infants actively engaged in learning, usually with the supportive, respectful presence of an infant care teacher. During part of the session, participants are invited to explore through active learning how to facilitate early learning and cognitive development. more >>

Special Needs
This session provides participants with information and techniques they can use to help infant care teachers become more knowledgeable about including infants and toddlers with special needs in group care as well as more comfortable with the idea. Participants examine their own attitudes toward inclusion and disabilities through engaging reflective activities. They also learn how to adapt toys, materials, and environments so that children with disabilities can use them effectively. more >>

Language Development, Communication, and Culture
In this session, participants explore how to facilitate language development and communication in infants and toddlers. Participants begin this exploration by reflecting on their own experiences with language learning. A major part of this session is organized around the DVD Early Messages: Facilitating Language Development and Communication, which presents ten strategies for facilitating early language development and communication. The session focuses on all ten strategies, along with discussion of training techniques that help infant care teachers learn how to use the strategies with children. Throughout the session, emphasis is placed on making children’s experiences with language positive and engaging in the context of nurturing relationships. more >>

Developing Your Plan for Training
In addition to the major content sessions, each module training institute concludes with a session that focuses on adult learning concepts and strategies as well as on building a community of learners. During this session, faculty work with participants to review the content and training strategies presented in each of the module’s sessions. Participants have an opportunity to clarify topics and discuss issues that they may encounter when they train with the PITC information and materials. Time is allotted for participants to work in small groups to begin creating lesson plans for their certification papers and for their use in training infant care teachers. more >>

PITC Certification Paper Guidelines, Academic Units, and CDA Information
This session is offered once at each trainer institute and is required only for new participants. It presents information about the guidelines for completion of certification papers and provides an opportunity to answer questions about the PITC certification process. more >>

Module III: Sessions