Biography for the Life Span

Biography for the Life Span

Unit Description

This unit explores understandings of the developmental phases of life and changing human needs through the life span, with a focus on students’ own development through these phases to develop applied knowledge and insight.

This unit explores understandings of the developmental phases of life and changing human needs through the life span, with a focus on students’ own development through these phases to develop applied knowledge and insight. The entire life span is reflected on by reviewing internal experiences and external events. The experiential component of this unit provides the context for developing counselling skills for facilitating clients’ life transitions, with a deep understanding of the challenges of negotiating life phases.

Theoretically, students first learn about the phases of childhood development from an Anthroposophical perspective as well as other theories of childhood development, including Attachment theory and learning developmental theories of Erickson, Piaget and Vygotsky. Secondly, students focus on the biographical development through the life span of adult developmental stages from early adulthood to old age and death. The Jungian and Process Work perspectives of Life Myth are also explored, and unique patterns and challenges identified.

Unit Code

201

Unit Type

Core Unit

Credit Points

4.5

Consultation Times

30 minutes before and after workshop intensives and by appointment during the semester

Topics Covered

  • Key theoretical perspectives on lifespan and development: Attachment, Jungian and developmental learning theorists
  • Anthroposophical perspective on lifespan and the life phases in the Rudolf Steiner model
  • Theories of early childhood development: needs, process and pathology
  • Personality and self-concept development: patterns and mirroring
  • Moral development and the social context
  • A developmental perspective of ageing
  • Use of biography in counselling
  • Taking a biography and applying the journey principle or life myth
  • Accessing the journey principle or life myth through childhood dreams and current body symptoms
  • Questions of destiny, karma, choice and freedom: A self-exploration of students’ developmental journeys to develop insight

Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulate the life phases of human development from the holistic paradigm, based on the work of Steiner
  2. Critically compare the holistic paradigm of life phases and development with Attachment, Jungian and learning developmental theories
  3. Articulate and apply the phases of early childhood development, including children’s needs, processes and pathology, to case studies
  4. Develop an in-depth understanding of Steiner’s journey principle of the self and the other, and critically analyse the impact of social changes on development throughout the lifespan
  5. Articulate the process of ageing from physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual perspectives
  6. Interview a practice client and accurately elicit and analyse the biographical story

Assessment Overview

Theoretical Essay

Critically analyse the phases of lifespan development from an Anthroposophic perspective, using examples from the student’s life journey to illustrate, and critically compare this approach with Attachment or a developmental learning theory

Discussion Forum response to two case studies

Students are to participate in analysing and discussing two case studies, the first focusing on childhood development and the second on ageing, in the online discussion forum

Unit Resources

Prescribed reading

Burkhard, G. (1997). Taking charge: Your life patterns and their meaning. Edinburgh, Scotland: Floris.

Burkhard, G. (2007). Biographical work: The anthroposophical basis. (C. Dagostino, Trans.). Edinburgh, Scotland: Floris.

Grose, M. (2008). Why first-borns rule the world and last-borns want to change it. Sydney, Australia: Random House Australia.

Konig, K. (2012). Brothers and sisters: The order of birth in the family. Edinburgh, Scotland: Floris.

Lievegoed, B. (1993). Phases: Crisis and development in the individual. (H. S. Lake, Trans.) Forest Row, England: Rudolf Steiner Press.

Mindell, A. (2014). Working on yourself alone: Inner dreambody work (2nd ed.). Portland, OR: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Peterson, C. (2014). Looking forward through the lifespan (6th ed, eBook). Melbourne, Australia: Pearson Australia.

Siegel, D. (2012). The whole-brain child: Twelve revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Delivery Mode

Workshop intensives on-campus

Workshop Intensive 1:

9:00 am to 5:30 pm
3.25 hours of teaching and learning

Workshop Intensive 3:

9:00 am to 5:30 pm
3.25 hours of teaching and learning

Online delivery
1.5 hour Zoom discussion mid-semester

Written by: Mr Samuel Minton • Created: July 21, 2020, 10:01 a.m.