Authentic Child Development: The Emergent Worldviews in the Evolution of Consciousness
Children are born with natural capacities, yet, development occurs in
relationship. What are the capacities of children of different ages? How can these
capacities be recognized? What are the environments that nurture the optimal
development of each capacity and for the child to access developmental wisdom
These are questions that parents, teachers, and child-oriented professionals ask.
Actually, anyone who wishes to ensure a child’s natural well-being wants to recognize
and respond well to the child’s innate capacities. Is this possible? Yes! When we ask the
right questions, the door opens. Remarkably, the door opens to an intuitively satisfying
appreciation of children that requires no extensive training to understand and engage
right action. This appreciation—that lies beyond the open door—is described by Natural
Learning Relationships (NLR). Succinctly stated, NLR maps the development of the
innate capacities in children and offers guidelines to creating relationships that lead to
optimal well-being. Natural Learning Relationships goes beyond just safeguarding the
child and making sure they become productive or creative members of society—NLR is a
map of holistic child development that maps the emergence of different fields of
knowing from birth through age 23 ( Luvmour, 2006).
We must pay careful attention to our relationship with all the child’s abilities:
cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and self-perception in each stage of life. To truly
understand the child, we must consider not only her cognitive attributes but also
emotional, physical, and spiritual development; that is, development of the whole
Since the child’s consciousness develops in relationship with others, we need to
take great care to learn about this holistic view of the child’s development.
Consciousness shows up primarily in changes in perception, which determines
behavior, identity construction, ego development, relationship, knowledge formation,
and emotional connection. consciousness is emergent, and is evidenced in
representational expressions through time e.g. language, religion, social expressions,
art, architecture, and other various modalities of human expression. The emergence of
the child’s field of knowing (life stages) recapitulates the emergence of human
consciousness in the evolution of our species.
Therefore, To really look at and see the child is a form of respect for the child and
for life. This requires understanding how the child’s worldview is directly related to
development. Therefore, knowledge of holistic child development is crucial to:
parents because family relationships are essential
educators to provide quality support for developing the child’s innate capacities
Our Future, for the evolution of species and planet depends upon and reflects consciousness well-being
Who is developing? We are all developing together. In essence, who we are is
what we teach.
When an adult intentionally nurtures a child’s developmental needs, well-being is
available to both the child and the adult. Many of the blocks to the adult’s well-being can
be dissolved. Through the act of nurturing development in children new-meaning
emerges in the adult’s life, creating a shift in the consciousness of the adult toward
greater awareness and wisdom. This way of nurturing development has value for
parents, teachers, education administrators, counselors, therapists, grandparents, and
all non-biological parents.
You can learn more about Natural Learning Relationships holistic child development in
courses at the Transformative Learning Foundation and at Antioch University, where
Josette and Ba teach a foundation course in Natural Learning Relationships and the
Evolution of Consciousness in the Individualized MA program in Social Sciences,
Concentration in Transformative Learning Communities.
You can read more in their books that can be found on Amazon: