deeply important. Pestalozzi is saying that sophisticated emotional qualities
such as empathy, understanding, or compassion are not taught but emerge
from the child depending on how one is treated and loved at the beginning
of life. I have personally witnessed infants’ displays of these sophisticated
responses. Right after an infant has been fed and is gently being patted on
the back, the child will respond by returning the pat. Such moments are
indeed precious and telling of an infant’s capacities of loving back.

Using broad strokes, Pestalozzi’s theory of educational philosophy can be
described as “four spheres” of relationships. The first sphere is about human
relationships. Children learn about human relationships at home when
their parents or other family members help to create bonds of love. The sec-
ond sphere, as described by Pestalozzi, focuses on a connection between the
way an individual is valued and the level of self-determination or initiative
that is evoked by the relationship or connection. In other words, desire and
will can be triggered by relationships. If a child is loved and loves someone
in return, the child will develop and use inner desire, will, and determina-
tion to please that person, as well as themselves. The third sphere describes
a child’s ability to move beyond the parent-child relationship into a deeper
understanding of self, revealed through the child’s developing character,
attitudes toward learning, and a sense of duty or responsibility. This is where
The Developing Self
R 13