The Design of Life: Development from a Human Perspective

by Dr. Norman S. Rose PhD

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“The spiral is the pattern of all things in the universe that move and grow.”
With those words, Dr. John Waskom would take his audience through time and space, through cosmos and microcosm, through human anatomy, and finally through the stages of our lives. And it all fit together with an elegance that was both surprising and comforting. John Waskom could indeed sense and demonstrate the “magic of design” as it expressed through numbers, patterns of nature, and human proportions.

But then he turned to deeper matters. “Do you suppose…?” he would begin to ask, over and over. And now he would lead his audience through speculations on child-rearing and education: What would it mean to raise and educate children in a way that respected what was inherent in their natural design? What would it mean to give young people experiences rather than answering their questions? What would it mean to be parents and teachers who were more concerned with observing patterns than with following habit and tradition?


Norman Rose was in such an audience, and it inspired him to make natural human development his life work. This book is a culmination of that work, beginning with the ideas of his mentor and expanding them into a unified view of the entire human lifespan – and the parental, educational, and therapeutic approaches that could make natural development a reality.

Dr. Rose has taught at all levels, from early elementary grades through university teacher preparation programs. He is also a gardener, hiker, and music composer with several published albums.