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Swiss philosopher Jean Piaget conceived of four cognitive stages of human development.  They are as follows: Birth to Age Two – The Sensori-Motor Stage:   infants develop their thinking processes solely through the body; in the course of moving their arms, legs, and torsos around, infants make things happen accidentally, and want to make them happen...
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Founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud created a psychosexual model of human development based upon the erogenous zones of the body.  He believed that as these zones matured neurologically, they activated the emotional world of the child (largely resident in the unconscious), and in the course of doing so, created the basis for later emotional health...
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Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg created a theory of moral development (or more properly, “moral reasoning”) based upon Jean Piaget’s stages of cognition.  There are three basic levels:  preconventional, conventional, and postconventional, and two stages within each level.  The six stages are as follows: Level 1 (Preconventional) 1. Obedience and Punishment Orientation – at this stage of...
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According to the ancient Romans, there are five stages of human development: 0-15 years – Pueritia – early childhood and latent period of early school years 15-25 – Adulescentia – puberty and adolescence 25-40 – Luventus – first adulthood 40-55 – Virilitas – second adulthood 55+ – Senectus – old age For more about the...
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According to the ancient Hindu Laws of Manu, there are four stages or “ashramas” of life, each lasting 21 (or 25) years. The first stage – 0-21 (0-25)  years – Brahmacharya/Student – the person lives as a unmarried celibate, studies with a guru; the focus is on education, character development, development of skills The second...
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“According to a beautiful legend from the Jewish tradition, the fetus in the womb has a light that shines above his head that sees from one end of the universe to the other.  This light encompasses the unborn’s own deep past and his ultimate destiny.  Just before birth, however, the angel Lailah comes to the...
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Fielding Graduate University sponsors a free monthly e-newsletter called Human Values in Aging, that provides a rich source of information about humanistic gerontology, including brief articles, books and films of interest, web links, calendar of events, and quotations on humanism and spirituality in aging.  It is edited by Dr. Harry R. Moody, author of The...
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David Marshak, emeritus professor in the College of Education at Seattle University, has written a book, The Common Vision:  Parenting and Educating for Wholeness (Peter Lang Publishing), that integrates the developmental ideas of three esoteric thinkers from the early 20th century:  Rudolf Steiner, Hazrat Inayat Khan, and Sri Aurobindo.   As the title indicates, Marshak...
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I’m impressed with the work of  Susan Linn, author of The Case for Make-Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World, whose organization, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), has been attempting to stop corporations from using characters like Sponge Bob Square Pants,Sesame Street’s Elmo, and cartoon movie figures to advertise everything from sugar-rich cereals and unhealthy McDonald’s “happy meals” to...
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