Learning at Developmental Cusps: A Lifespan Perspective
Julia Penn Shaw, Ed.D.

This article presents a qualitative analysis of learning at various ages from 1 through 76—suggesting in each case that the learner crossed a boundary at a developmental cusp, with an associated shift in awareness of the self. That these are all ages outside traditional schooling reinforces the lifespan nature of learning. Four elements were present: 1) a pressing puzzle to the self (psychological); 2) developmental readiness of the learner (biological); 3) a conducive learning environment (cultural); and 4) a trusted scaffolding relationship between the learner and a guide (social).Lifespan, childhood, and adult learning theories, as well as sources as diverse as Aristotle and Jung, contribute to an understanding of how developmental cusps are negotiated. Teachers aware of the concept of ―developmental cusp‖ are more apt to provide the educational support needed for the learner to transcend a developmental juncture to a more integrated sense of self.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v7n2a4