Phases of Childhood

Growing in Body, Soul and Spirit

Bernard C. J. Lievegoed; Translated by Tony Langham and Plym Peters

Available (printed to order)

Quick Look

Argues that education must take into account body, soul and spirit in order for a child to develop into a happy, wise, skilled adult.

216 x 138 mm
Floris Books
Parenting & Child Health
208 pages
Publication date:
26 May 2005
3rd edition


-- How can education work in harmony with a child's developing relationship with the world around it?
-- How can education take account of body, soul, and spirit?

Bernard Lievegoed takes a child's full humanity -- body, soul and spirit -- as his starting point. From this, a philosophy and pedagogy emerge in which, he argues, children can become happy, wise and skilled adults only when education takes the development of these three aspects into account from the very beginning.

Drawing on the educational ideas of Rudolf Steiner, and on a philosophical tradition going back to Goethe and Schiller, Lievegoed turns away from the materialist nineteenth-century notion of 'knowledge is power' which still pervades mainstream education today. He describes the three main stages of child development -- pre-school, schoolchild and teenager -- in a clear and concise way. Lievegoed shows that each stage of roughly seven years has its own character, and its own genetic and biographical potential.

The author goes on to explore the practical application of these insights as an education method in harmony with the child's developing relationship with the world around them.

Table of Contents

1. The Three Cycles of Development
2. The Physical Stages of Development
3. The Child up to the Loss of the Milk Teeth
4. From Loss of the Milk Teeth to Puberty
5. Development from Puberty
6. The Layers of the Human Soul
7. Development of the Self
8. The Stages of Thinking
9. Stages of Feeling: Artistic Development
10. The Development of the Will: Morality
11. Heredity and Individualization
12. On Education and Self-Education


'This book has been a standard text and has provided student teachers, therapists, parents and many others with an overview of child development from an anthroposophical perspective. I have been saying for years that it should be updated and now this has happened. This book is quite simplay a 'must'.
-- Martyn Rawson, Steiner Education, September 2005


Bernard Lievegoed (1905-92) was a paediatrician, educationalist and management consultant. He was founder of the NPI which pioneered new approaches to business management internationally.

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors