Josette Luvmour

Fielding Graduate University, Ph. D., Human Development, 2008
Josette Luvmour

Fielding Graduate University. M.A. Human Development. 2006
Thomas Edison State College, B.A. Psychology. 2003. Arnold Fletcher Award for exceptional achievement in academic learning, and achievement as a self-directed learner.
Undergraduate studies in Comparative Religion and Eastern Philosophies

Josette Luvmour, Ph.D., is an educator in human development and a developmental consultant specializing in child and adult development, adult transformational learning, and sustainable family relationships. She also serves in the non-profit sector as Director of Parent BRIDGE Program at Summa Academy and Director of Professional Development and the Research Core at Summa Institute.

Josette has been educating adults since 1992 in Portland, Oregon. She teaches graduate courses at Self Design Graduate Institute. In addition to her 28-year consulting practice at Luvmour Consulting, LLC, Josette has authored of five books and numerous journal articles and chapters that focus on building positive relationships with children. Her writing has been published in ENCOUNTER: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, Paths of Learning, Journal of Adult Development, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Parenting Matters, Family Post, Holistic Education Review, Mothering Magazine, Naturopathic Doctor News, and she has co-authored six books that focus on building positive relationships with children.

Josette lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband of over 32 years and a dog named Janaka. Together they live close to their children and grandchildren.


Main Interests/Focus Areas

Natural Learning Relationships whole-child development, Development between adult and child in the contexts of parenting and teaching, Adult transformational learning, Child’s influence on adult development, Emergent wisdom in the family context, Creating School Culture of meaning and inspiration

Child development; adult development; family dynamics; humanistic and transpersonal development; holistic and spiritual education; applications of whole-family experiential learning; dialogue, process, and collaboration in parent-teacher relationships; strategies of parent education; putting theory to practice.

Portland, Oregon

Josette lives in Portland, Oregon, USA

Personal Statement

Josette is a person who believes that your perspective is not only unique—but uniquely valuable.

I have extensive independent school experience from all vantage points: parent, program director, founder, facilitator/teacher, parent-educator, teacher training, board vice-president, board secretary, and researcher.

SDGI Courses

SD 524 Positive Development in Children: Applications for Academic Excellence; Resolving Conflict, and Promoting Social Justice (3 credits)
Learners in this course delve deeply into how children organize their world at different ages of their lives. Based on the principle that capacities are innate and development occurs in relationship, learners examine evidence-based practices to understand the kinds of relationships that bring forth optimal well-being in children. These relationships create powerful opportunities to heal dysfunction, support academic excellence, and improve social relationships. Learners will give specific attention to the following topics: successful character development; supporting well-being in the child, especially within the school setting; optimal communication with children in each stage of development; descriptions of the special qualities, nature, and characteristics of each stage of development; identification of developmental malnourishments; identification of difficult times for the child and how to remedy these in various social settings; and the development of meaning within each stage of development.

SD 525 Rites of Passage in Our Times: Understanding and Applying Rites of Passage in Education (3 credits)
Rites of passage have historically been very prominent in cultures. In our times, many people feel there are only vestiges left that are more a celebration than a true passage (i.e., confirmations, Bar Mitzvahs, graduations). This loss is a catastrophe for humanity. When carefully and correctly executed, rites of passage can be a response to the lack of meaning and purpose that pervades the post-modern world. Done well, rites of passage create opportunity to touch the very depths of human possibility, including the emergence of greater self-knowledge. To reintroduce rites of passage into contemporary life, practitioners and researchers have turned to anthropological studies, direct contact with traditional cultures, distillations of transpersonal psychology, and their own common sense and intuition.

Learners in this course explore the purpose and meaning of rites of passage; the relevance of rites of passage for children, education, families, social justice, and community and social well-being ; the nature of luminal experience, why it is important, and how to create it; the relationship between rites of passage and child and adolescent development; the reciprocal growth and development of each person involved in rites of passage, including teachers, family members, and elders; and how to structure and lead rites of passage.

SD 526 Adult Development (3 credits)
Adult development involves systematic, qualitative changes in consciousness, human abilities, and behaviors as a result of interactions between internal and external environments. Learners in this course examine constancy and change in ways of knowing self and the world (social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development across ages and stages). Learners will explore the literature on developmentally related change in perspective-taking, meaning-making, self-knowledge, action theory, and transformational learning.
Learners focus on the following questions:

  • What is the relationship between development and learning style? Are personalities learned or inborn?
  • How does learning occur in the context of the family and the community?
  • How can our families and communities collaborate with our schools to support learning?
  • What form transforms in learning?

SD 527 Mutual Development between Parent and Child (3 credits) Humans develop in relationship, and children bring change. Everyone accepts that the adult influences the child, but few realize how much the child influences change in the parent. Learners in this course focus on how nurturing development in the child can lead to the emergence of new meaning, self-knowledge, and wisdom in the parent. This course focuses on the dynamics of multi-directional development in transactions between the parents and their children and draws upon original research conducted by the faculty mentor.

Directed Studies:

SD 509 Creating School Culture: Natural Learning Relationships whole-child development, School Culture, and Working with Parents
School Culture is not easy to create. We explore the foundations of creating and maintaining a school culture that is imbued with meaning and inspiration.

The school culture is part of our student’s learning experience.

Adult Development
Adult development involves systematic, qualitative changes in consciousness, human abilities, and behaviors as a result of interactions between internal and external environments. This course will look at constancy and change in ways of knowing self and the world (e.g., social, cognition, emotion, and physical development across ages and stages). We will review the literature on developmentally related change in perspective-taking, meaning-making, self-knowledge, action theory, and transformational learning. From reductionist-deterministic, through organismic, contextualist, holistic, on through phenomenological-existential perspectives, to integral:

Mutual Development between adult and child: when adults meets the child’s developmental imperatives
Humans develop in relationship and children bring change. Everyone accepts that the adult influences the child but few realize how much the child influences change in the adult. This course is a focus on how nurturing development in the child leads to the emergence of new-meaning, self-knowledge, and wisdom in the adult. This course focuses on the dynamics of multi-directional development in transactions between the adults and children.

Working with our student’s families: What every educator needs to know
All parents are a part of their child’s education. So, Holistic Educators must know how to work with parents. When there is a synergy among these key relationships children’s educational experiences grow exponentially. We will discuss the importance of collaboration with our students’ families that is mutually respectful with shared power and decision-making.

In the Media


Select Papers

  • Dissertation: Developing Together: A study of the developmental experiences of adults who actively work to meet their child’s developmental imperatives
  • Thesis: A study of adult transformational learning


  • Luvmour, J. (2010). Adult development: Emergent wisdom in the family context. Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic. (Monograph)
  • Luvmour, J., & Luvmour, B. (2002). Win-Win games for all ages: Cooperative activities for building social skills. Canada: New Society Publishers.
  • Luvmour, J., & Luvmour, B. (1998). Tiger by the Tail: Essays on the inherent spirituality of Natural Learning Rhythms. Nevada City, CA: EnCompass Press.
  • Luvmour, J., & Luvmour, B. (1993). Natural Learning Rhythms: How and when children learn. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.
  • Luvmour, B., & Luvmour, J. (1990). Everyone wins!: Cooperative games and activities. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers.
  • Luvmour, B., & J., L. (1989). Towards Peace: Cooperative Games & Activities. Nevada City, CA: Center for Educational Guidance Press.


  • Luvmour, J. (2011). Education and the consciousness of the developing child. ENCOUNTER: Education for meaning and social justice, 24(4), 15-23.
  • Luvmour, J. (2011). Developing together: Parents meeting children’s developmental imperatives. Journal of Adult Development, 18(4), 164-171.
  • Luvmour, J. (2011). Nurturing children’s well-being: A developmental response to trends of over-diagnosis and overmedication. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 51(3), 350-368.
  • Luvmour, J., & Loomis, M. (2009). Nurturing the child’s well-being: Key markers to support well-being in physiological and psycho-emotional development. Naturopathic Doctor News & Review, 5(9), 1-4.
  • Luvmour, J. (2001). Families Learning Together. Family Post, 2.
  • Luvmour, J. (2001). Rites of Passage in Our Times. Nevada City, CA.
  • Luvmour, J., & Luvmour, B. (1999). Confluence: Synthesizing the insights of Joseph Chilton Pearce and Natural Learning Rhythms, Paths of Learning (pp. 15).
  • Luvmour, J., & Luvmour, B. (1999). Freedom in Education (Vol. October 10th, 1998). Bramdean, Hampshire, UK: 30th Anniversary Educational Conference of the Brockwood Park Krishnamurti Educational Center.
  • Luvmour, J., & Luvmour, B. (1999c). Spirituality and Human Rights (Vol. 1995, pp. 9). San Francisco, CA: Convention on Spirit and Human Rights by the Fetzer Foundation.
  • Luvmour, B. a. J. (1995, March, 1995). Teenagers and the Shadow. Holistic Education Review, Volume 8, 13.



  • Luvmour, B., & Luvmour, J. (2005). Optimal Parenting CD Set: The Natural Learning Rhythms approach to family well-being. On Optimal Parenting CDs. Portland, OR.

Book: Current Project working title

 Grow Together: Parenting as a Path to Wisdom
Parenting can be a transformational experience. This book is intended to inspire and empower parents, families, and professionals to access greater well-being and, ultimately, wisdom. This book is written for anyone involved with a child of any age.

This book is about how adults learn and grow from our in relationship to nurturing our children’s needs. This book will also benefit professionals who work with children and families to help clients to learn how to nurture their families’ development and growth.

Websites of interest

Chapter 11 (excerpt from Grow Together: Parenting as a Path to Wisdom) Applications for Professionals: beyond the parent and child

Professionals who work with children or families are in a wonderful position to help parents and caregivers increase their awareness of the important benefits of supporting the child’s innate capacities. When we apply Natural Learning Relationships with the children, well-being comes forth in the children, their families, and, perhaps surprisingly, in us as professionals. We know that living in well-being is the ground for wisdom to emerge. Actualizing wisdom as an adult has a profoundly positive influence on life satisfaction that is independent of our objective circumstances. Wise adults tend to be more reflective, caring, empathic, and compassionate toward others and they can access greater satisfaction in actualizing their life’s purpose and meaning.

Teachers, counselors, physicians, and family attorneys are among those professionals who have used NLR to help their clients who are parenting. Over my years speaking with many such professionals, they have described the changes in their personal development as rewarding and enriching experiences when caring for children’s developmental imperatives is at the center of practice. Thus, the relationship with the child is a system of multi-directional development—practical applications of whole-child development during the care of the child benefit everyone involved. We, as professionals, gain as much as the children we serve.

Because we professionals alter the world of children by the attitudes we bring, the environments we create, and the social norms we uphold, self-development is essential for anyone working with students, children, or families. Who we are strongly affects our students and is the underpinning of all that we do with them. In essence, it is our first teaching. The best educator/student relationship requires us to have affection and empathy toward our students and enough trust in their innate goodness and capabilities to allow them freedom. The affection I speak of here must not come from our needs or dependency of any kind…but rather a profound wish for the student’s optimal well-being.

Students absorb who we are—everything we say and do, and, just as importantly, everything we feel. The message of our whole-being is transmitted in any number of non-verbal ways: by our presence, language, attitude, behaviors, methods of teaching, aesthetics of dress, arrangement of the environment, time management, etc. Moreover, children have an inner experience of us through empathy (see Chapter 2). Thus, our development and psychological health is known to our children, our students, and our clients through what is called being-to-being experience (Appendix 11-A: Being to Being Knowledge). This is not a cognitive type of knowledge, yet it is sensed, felt, and experienced in every way. This is true in any profession. Similarly, we have an inner experience of our clients and students through empathy.

Natural Learning Relationships has been integrated into use in many areas: teacher training, social and human services, adult education, corporate work/life balance support, non-profit and school partnerships, prevention programs for youth at-risk, college course materials, children’s camps, and parenting support groups. Professionals who engage in practical applications of nurturing children’s developmental needs have found these benefits for themselves:

  • Increased access to personal meaning in their professional practice
  • Greater professional confidence and competence
  • Greater professional empathy
  • The ability to see through the child’s eyes and skillfully bring forward developmental relationships with each age child
  • Ways to apply their adult growth and development to their professional practice
  • Encouragement to embrace new ideas based on the interests of their students and clients
  • Greater freedom from their own biographical pasts
  • An increased ability to appreciate diverse views
  • Ways to skillfully engage in self-inquiry without self-judgment
  • An ability to do more complex thinking with the ability to embrace paradox
  • A greater ability to collaborate with others
  • A greater ability to construct positive solutions in times of conflict
  • Access to greater self-knowledge
  • Resilience and open-mindedness in their professional practice
  • Greater ability to be authentically present with their students



Development Occurs in Relationship

 Josette Luvmour, PhD


A child’s relationship with educators and parents is central to the child’s perception of self and the world. Children learn in informal interactions with educators and in the family environment during everyday activities. To make those interactions as effective as possible, it is important to understand how the child sees the world and to nurture that child’s developmental needs. We can co-create educational environments with supportive relationships that match the child’s developmental capacities. Well-being flourishes in both child and adult.

Who is the child as a unique individual? Who is she when she’s not seen as a part of a class or grouped with others in a grade level. How does the child, in his own right, perceive the world?

Welcome to my blog on parenting involvement matters. These discussions on supporting well-being in children will include talk about development—both the child’s development and the caregivers’ development, past and present.

This blog supports healthy development in children with practical applications to home life and education. In that healthy development, your involvement is key. In fact, caring for your child’s development will promote optimal well-being for you both.

Here, the word development means a movement through stages of life that the child goes through as he or she organizes the world. Because these developmental changes are strongly influenced by both genetic inheritance and environmental influences, we must pay careful attention to our relationship with each child. Each stage of life is seen through the manifestation of all the child’s abilities: cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and self-perception. If we ignore the different ways in which each child’s organizes her or his world, we may end up distancing ourself from that development and that can lead to objectifying the child or stereotyping.

As adults, we must be careful to not group children into categories; e.g., terrible-two’s, awkward tweens, oppositional teenagers, etc. In my consulting practice, I encourage parents and caregivers to take a unique approach with each child they are with. In order to do this, we need to see each child as an individual with innate and unique characteristics influenced by his or her developmental capacities in combination with the context in which he or she lives.

The key is for any adult to understand how the child sees the world and to acknowledge and balance the two main influences on who the child is: the child’s age of development with its needs and characteristics and the environmental influences (family, school, clubs and sports). I have seen amazing trust develop when we can relate to the child in this way.

Since the child’s consciousness develops in relationship with others, we need to take great care to learn about the child’s development. Consciousness shows up primarily in changes in perception, which determines behavior, identity construction, ego development, relationship, knowledge formation, and emotional connection. To really look at and see the child is a form of respect for the child and, I dare say, for life. This requires understanding how the child’s worldview is directly related to development.

  • Knowledge of child development is crucial to parents because family relationships are an essential contributor to the patterns that influence the child’s emotional development and social interactions for a lifetime.
  • Knowledge of child development is crucial to educators because it can help educators understand the optimal age for appropriate communication strategies, for relationship, and for environments that provide the best needed support for developing the child’s innate capacities.

It is also important to know who we are in our own development (and resulting consciousness) because this strongly affects our students and our children and is the underpinning of all that we do with them. In essence, who we are is what we teach.

In a recently published article,* I discussed the importance of taking the time to understand how our children perceive the world at each age of development. This excerpt is an example:

…it is time that education supports each child in a web of relationships with educators and parents who share in the primary responsibility of guiding that child’s development. In this view, the boundary between adult and child does not exist. Our relationship with the children in our care, whether personal or professional, is of critical importance to well-being in the child’s consciousness. During each age of childhood, connection, understanding, and appreciation of child development are required.

Children learn competence in their developmental capacities in informal interactions with educators and in the family environment during everyday activities. To make those interactions the best they can be, it is important to understand how the child sees the world, a seeing that is governed by the organizing principle, and to nurture that child’s developmental needs. Every aspect of a human being is continually adapting to relationships, interpersonal communication, and educational experiences. With knowledge of child development and attention to attuned relationships with the child’s consciousness, we can co-create educational environments [and home environments] with supportive relationships that match the child’s developmental capacities. Well-being will flourish in both child and adult… The benefits of right relationships with children nourish children, adults, families, and society as a whole.

“It’s not about performance—it’s always about relationship.”


Luvmour, J. (2011). Education and the Consciousness of the Developing Child. Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, 24(4), 15-23.

A review of this article by Paul Freedman, head of the Salmonberry School in Eastsound, WA can be found at: