When we re frame our questions about infant learning from what do they learn to how do they
learn, our focus shifts from content to process. Infancy is, after all, a process: a development
driven by autonomic reflexes and the pull of sensory stimuli activating a mobilization upon, across
and within the gravitational field. Five neuromuscular patterns can be identified as unfolding in
sequential, inter penetrating phases during the first (give or take) year of life. Unfolding
sequentially and inter penetratingly, these patterns build upon one another to create (by the time of
the fifth pattern, rotation) a means for vertical mobility, a means for complex use of tools and most
likely, a means for language development.
These patterns continue to serve the individual throughout life as an organizing structure for
experience and perception. How well each being learns and integrates mobilization patterns is the
foundation for how they will be and operate in the world.
The patterns are universal; however, the degree to which they are actually experienced and
integrated is dependent on environment. Environment would include the presence of genetic
anomaly, disease and the nature of cultural practices.
The patterns are universal and are present throughout the animal kingdom. At present, only human
beings approximate their full potential: the promise of verticality. "Promise" because very few
beings actually achieve verticality. The vast majority of beings are caught half way between the
horizontal and the vertical plane. Having lost the grace and ease of the four legged realm, they have
not yet achieved the yielding, springing, spinning grace that is possible in the perpendicular realm:
that open channel between sky and ground. Most are simply hauling themselves across the surface
of the earth in an unconscious but constant fight against the ever present downward pull of gravity.
They strain forward towards an always vanishing horizon line.
The optimum time for pattern learning and integration is in infancy; but, there is a wondrous
resilience to the brain and the body that allows life long learning. Knowledge and activities that
allow beings to explore and expand individuated use of mobilization patterns can inform a
curriculum for any age group. School of Natural Learning began in an infant room of a day care
center. Over a three year period more that thirty infants from the ages of six weeks to
approximately one year were observed and engaged in emerging patterns: eight hours a day, five
days a week. The guidance for infant learning offered in this Workbook is founded that
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April 9, 2014)