Organizing Principle

Organizing Principle One common idea of these researchers is that there is an organizing principle at work in each stage of childhood that guides the child to access (and actualize) innate capacities and, ultimately, his or her true nature (Jung 1964; Maslow 1971). All innate capacities unfold in sequence and in relationship with others. As co-creators of the Natural Learning Relationships (NLR) approach to whole-child development, Ba Luvmour and I have furthered earlier understandings of child development and of the organizing principle in human development (See Table 1). In the NLR view, the organizing principle is a life force that determines the general ways in which human energy, capacities, inclinations, and interaction are structured and the ways in which human beings act. The purpose and goal of each organizing principle is optimal well-being, which determines the way in which the social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual capacities are accessed by the child (Luvmour 2006; Luvmour & Luvmour 1993). The organizing principle is the lens through which the child sees the world — and the current expression of the child’s consciousness. In each age of childhood, the organizing principle is directing all energy toward developing full access to innate capacities. These capacities require nurturing from the primary caregivers in the child’s environment to fully actualize. Each organizing principle operates best in specific nurturing environments to bring forth optimal well-being. If the educator is not aware of what is organizing in the consciousness of a student, how can he or she guide that child’s learning? All students can comprehend more effectively when their unique individual talents, abilities, and capacities are recognized and engaged (Caine & Caine 2011). By recognizing what is developing in the child, a good educator has a way to understand and reflect on ways to supply that child’s developmental needs to create optimal learning environments. Educators who pay attention to these developmental changes in their students’ consciousness have the best opportunity to be a master of connection by seeing through the children’s eyes and feeling into the children’s hearts.


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