When development is taught in schools, like reading, science, math

When development is taught in schools, like reading and math

Think about it. Right now human development is a specialized knowledge. It’s required education for child specialists like teachers, social workers, therapists, and beyond that the domain of geeks like us or those fascinated enough to pursue it academically or scientifically.

But should it really be for geeks and specialists?

Who needs to understand human development? …EVERYONE!


Because chances are at some point the vast majority of the human population is going to have a kid. And if you’re not going to have one of your own, you are certainly not never going to be around them or encounter them.

But think about it: who is in dire need of the specialized knowledge of human development than…any and every parent that has ever lived or will live! Yet we do nothing to prepare the people who need the knowledge most, which is to say, pretty much everyone.

So we say in school “you’re going to need some basic arithmetic because you will use it in life; you’re going to need to know how to read; you’re going to need this, that, the other so you can grow up and be successful and have a career” but we say NOTHING the most important knowledge just about everyone is REALLY going to need because everything that matters rides on it.

So this is a bit of a rant but after all of these years it finally came to me last night. Development must be taught in schools. EVERYONE, to complete their education should pass and leave with at least a basic and rudimentary knowledge.

But it should be almost as required and rigorous as math and reading.

The question comes, how do you do that? How do you teach the developing about development?

Easy. You start in kindergarten and/or first grade with education about babies and toddlers. You think they couldn’t use that in their present lives (younger siblings etc), you think they wouldn’t love that? You think the world wouldn’t be better if first graders knew what made babies and toddlers tick?

When you get to 7-9yrs you review babies and toddlers and move on to preschoolers and emerging school-agers. I can’t think of a 7-9yr old conop who would not love and be proud of that knowledge.

When you get to middle school it’s time to review, babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school-agers and then add the wonder that is the symbolic flowering of conop.

Now, because that is the stage the middle schooler is at, I can’t think of a middle schooler who wouldn’t be fascinated (whether they’ll admit it or not) at understanding not just the younger but who they are and how they got here.

With the prospect of babies becoming a real possibility as they pass pubescence, what better way to have prepared them for who they will become and what could result right along with sex education.

When you get to high school review it all again - babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school-agers, symbolic flowering, add emerging identity, post pubescence and sexuality and then add, what has been emerging already, the real ins and outs of having a baby, a family, cost, budgets, time, career, etc.

Think of the world we could live in if all humans had knowledge of human development.

You don’t need Integral, you’d just have a waaaaaaaay better world, to grow up in, to live in, to start it all over again.

However, it’s obvious Second Tier is required to even THINK of this. Because green has had a huge hold on and investment in education itself since emerging enough to have real influence…and it’s never been proposed to date.

We will know we are starting to live in at least a Teal hued world truly, when human development is taught in schools with the imperative of math, reading, science, even religion in private religious schools.

It’s such a “d’uh!” thing when you realize…90-something percent of these students…will one day be parents.

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My son’s years at school didn’t have lessons in human development but the pastoral care at each school was not only overt but inherent in each moment at the school. That level and quality of pastoral care involved exposing the children to ideas and behaviour of human development. IMHO to teach human development maybe comes in at a time when the children can take third person perspectives. Before then, it is modelled by the teachers.

Hi Tim - Thanks for this post. The question 'why don’t they teach this stuff in school…" has been exclaimed alot as i listen to the many wonderful Perspectives videos on IL and it always gets me wondering about the why. “Why don’t they…”

I am sure that there are many educational systems that do consciously build awareness at least of components into their curriculum as Andrew mentioned in his example above. I heard of a project over at the Noetic Sciences place a few years ago where they went into schools with that type of program teaching children about I think compassion.

But largely i imagine there is no thought given to teach some or all of these concepts. Why? A few reasons leap to my mind…

  • the system of education itself cannot yet ‘see’ the possibilities; It needs a few champions in this area that takes the science, explains the significance to curriculum and translates it into practical classroom applications
  • ‘they’ who have the power to set curriculum don’t know the theory or see practical applications. And if they did it would take years before it filtered down from the higher echelons the determine what is or is not taught
  • what gets on that curriculum agenda i think has a lot to do with public agreement and i don’t think this is yet gone viral as a mainstream topic of discussion.

I agree it should be taught in schools and i envision a day where it is a built in given - if as Ken Wilber says- we are at this evolutionary front co creating the next unfolding of humanity. - exciting. As soon as that knowledge becomes as mainstream an idea as math or reading or big business starts hiring talent with this knowledge base for what it will do for the bottom line… there will be an overnight demand for teaching children to think about how they think - at least i think so.
ps - now if Integral theory was a hot topic of discussion on the Ellen Show or Entertainment Tonight…hmmm.

I’m not sure if this is ‘out of process’ but your post stimulated this response (and weirdly I had just come on to write about this anyway - so synchronicity might be at work, think: Rupert Sheldrake and crystals etc)…

  1. The most basic learning happens at the level of species
  2. Then some species learn to add in tools (e.g. primates, some birds) and teach this across individuals in groups
  3. Then humans learnt to hunt, what were cave drawings for - shamanic induction of kids into men (Women just were sent into a hut for three days… they had enough communion with the Void/Eros baked-in already I guess??)
  4. Farmers didn’t add much novelty year on year, but they did pass their own unique lineage down from generation to generation, local features and all
  5. Enter the Enlightenments (West: science, East: meditation) and the Masters (transmission)
  6. University/Education for some and then…
  7. Everbody get s to play… (in theory)

So who decides what is on the curriculum?

Social holons do not have a dominant monad… so it must still be a hidden grammar/process of a holon we don’t yet know the name (partness) of… correct me if I’m wrong here!!

/Tim :uk:

In most countries, the federal government or individual states/provinces writes the curriculum. In some cases more freedom is provided to the school to further tailor the specifics.

Physical development and simple models of social/emotional development are in almost all curriculums worldwide, often under health or sex ed. However, the actual time spent on these and the importance they are given is often minimal.

If we can prove it is an essential skill for the workforce and show that the marking of it can be done easily, we stand a chance of making a case for it to find it’s way into schools. However, having worked in curriculum development that would be a 5 year process minimum.

More likely “bespoke” education, after school clubs, summer camps etc. are more likely the place to introduce these ideas with more ease. I also think youtube tutorials about it, and connecting it to something relevant to kid’s lives (ie. Marvel movies, Harry Potter etc) would help make it accessible. If some youth-centric youtubers made a case for its relevance I think you’d see more response than making it a mandatory task at school. Just because we think something is cool for kids to learn doesn’t mean they dig it at school. :slight_smile:

Tim, I am glad you bring this up.
I believe developmental models should be introduced in school, but my prediction is that if/when it is, it won’t be approached like science, math, english etc.

At blue & orange we school arranged and sorted into subjects.
Theorteically there are “Science skills”, “History skills”, “Math skills” etc.

By green, these subjects get deconstructed.
We see that skills transcend any one particular subjects.
For example your reading skills (ie. comprehending, making connections, being able to articulate key ideas) are relevant not only in english class, rather they are used in every subject whenever reading is used.

Our incomplete belief that there are subject specific skills falls apart pretty quickly under scrunity. ie: should spelling be counted in a history essay? The essay (writing) and the spelling are both under english skills in the curriculum and therefor don’t belong to the category of history-competences that should be assessed.

More progressive schools and the IB system have moved away from content areas or subjects and more toward types of skills that transcend anyone subject and can be applied to multiple domains. Right now, I believe the best and most common version of this is the IB system.

Rather than Science, Math, English, History, Gym skills etc. They focus on thinking, social, communication, self-management and research. Under these 5 categories you can access any discipline.

In my opinion, this is the way that I think development will be taught in school. Not so much as a subject itself, but rather as a key concept that is used to look at other topics. You can see in the first column in the IB image key concepts. You could use a developmental model like spiral dynamics to inform the ideas of causation, change, perspective, responsibility, reflection etc. when looking at a given topic of interest.

Thoughts? I know I can get a tad too teachery in my language (I’ve been a passionate primary school teacher for a decade) but I wonder if this gives you some new connections?

It is a pretty interesting idea. It seems that it makes more sense to have subjects like Thinking, Social, Communication, Self-Management, and Research at a Secondary level rather than Primary? Or are they not actual courses, but the skills taught in the courses?
How is this model offering something different than what is currently being applied?