Hubert Montagner

The Tree-Child Publication date : September 11, 2006

A specialist in child development, Hubert Montagner is known for his work on biological rhythms and their effect on intellectual and affective development, and on early relationships and their impact on the future maturing process. This book is the result of more than thirty years’ work and research in the field of infant development.
The book spans every phase of development, beginning with the first moments of the foetus’s growth. How does it grow and develop in the mother’s womb? What growth pattern does it follow? What influences predominate? What are the decisive moments in the maturing process?
He then describes the early stages in the relationship that newborns weave with their environment, and follows each crucial step in their progress up to the age of three.
Montagner portrays what he describes as “a complete little human being” — or “tree child”, nourished by a reassuring sense of attachment and evolving in symbiosis with its own internal rhythms and those of its environment, and armed with sufficient strength to be open to exploration and to the conquest of its own space in its social interactions.
Backed by these analyses, Montagner develops his own carefully thought-out approach to education, both within the family and in the framework of school or day-care.
Based on his own research and practical experience, Hervé Montagner, the top French specialist in affective and intellectual development, has drawn up the profile of an ideal child — of the way our children could be, if only we understood their needs and their nature.
This examination of education, both within the family and in formal schooling as it exists today, censures the incapacity of the system to adapt to the child’s rhythms and limitations, offers some solutions and reminds us of the essential role played by affectivity and creativity in the intellectual learning process.
Professor Hubert Montagner is a senior research fellow at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) and the head of a research team at the University of Bordeaux-II specialising in the psycho-physiology and the psycho-pathology of development. He is the author of L’Attachement (1988), L’Enfant: la vraie question de l’école (2002) and L’Enfant et l’Animal (2002).