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Robert Kegan Harvard University Ph.D., 1976 (Psychology and Education)

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1 Robert Kegan Harvard University Ph.D., 1976 (Psychology and Education)

2 Profile: Teach life span human development, adult development, to doctoral and masters level psychologists and educators at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Central interest is transformational learning and adult development in the context of the professions and organizational life.

3 Profile (cont’d): Kegan serves as educational chair of the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education. He is a licensed psychologist and practicing Therapist. His major work is The Evolving Self which he wrote in 1982.

4 Theory Background Kegan’s work is in the tradition of Piaget and subsequent neo-Piagetian theorists such as Kohlberg

5 Theory Background “ I wanted to bring these things together and create a richer developmental psychology that was both powerfully descriptive from the outside, but also powerfully descriptive from the inside — the internal experience of being a growing person and thinking about the context and support of development….”

6 Theory Background Kegan argues that people make progressive qualitative shifts in how they construct and understand the world around them → a process that both defines and influences identity, self-concept, and interpersonal relationships

7 Theory Background similar to Piaget and Kohlberg, Kegan argues that each progression in development builds on and subsumes earlier stages That is, later stages cannot be achieved until earlier cognitive stages have been fully developed

8 Theory Background How does each stage development occur?
“Each qualitative change, hard won, is a response in further recognition of how the world and I are yet again distinct —— and thereby more related.”

9 Theory Background Kegan uses Piaget’s work to develop the nature of the subject-object relationship, subject to us when we are controlled by it, or identify with aspects of its meaning, object to us when we can take a perspective on it and show responsibility for that perspective → no longer captive

10 Theory Background Kegan wanted to bring together cognitive development with his own sense that it held “a very fascinating phenomenon” → the gradual complexity of mind … Next: Kegan’s Developmental Theory…

11 In The Evolving Self, Kegan presents a model
of psychological development which consists of the following six “equilibrium stages”: Stage 0: The Incorporative Balance Subject: reflexes Object: nothing I am my environment: My environment is me

12 perceptions Stage 1: The Impulsive Balance Subject: impulses,
Object: reflexes I am my impulse!!!

13 Stage 2: The Imperial Balance
Subject: needs, interests, desires Object: impulsive, perceptions I am my needs

14 Stage 3: The Interpersonal Balance
Subject: interpersonal relationships, mutuality Object: needs, interests, desires You are my mirror

15 Stage 4: The Institutional Balance
Subject: authorship, identity, ideology Object: interpersonal relationships, mutuality I AM

16 Stage 5: The Interindividual Balance
Subject: “the interpenetrability of self systems” Object: authorship, identity, ideology We Are

17 Helix Model of Evolutionary Traces
we move back and forth in a struggle with lifelong tension (i.e. between the yearnings for inclusion and exclusion); our balances are slightly imbalanced It is because each of these temporary balances is slightly imbalanced that each is temporary; each self is vulnerable to being tipped over

18 Helix Model of Evolutionary Traces
This model depicts a better way for the understanding the nature of our vulnerability to growth at each level This model also recognizes the equal dignity of each yearning, and in this respect offers a corrective to all present developmental frameworks which define growth in terms of

19 Helix Model of Evolutionary Traces
This model also recognizes the equal dignity of each yearning, and in this respect offers a corrective to all present developmental frameworks which define growth in terms of differentiation, separation, increasing autonomy and lose sight of the fact that adaptation is equally about integration, attachment and inclusion.

20 Helix of evolutionary traces
Inter-individual (5) Institutional (4) Interpersonal 3) Imperial (2) Impulsive (1) Incorporative (0) Psychologics favouring independence Psychologics favouring inclusion

21 Summary Notions About Development: Development is evolutionary motion
Focuses on the changes in the way people differentiate between their sense of self and their environment--boundary issues Development is a life long process of differentiation and integration Movement to make meanings, resolve discrepancies, preserve and enhance personal integrity Movement out of "embeddedness"

22 Critiques - Positive does not discount previous theories, instead builds on them using new knowledge, techniques and applications

23 Critiques - Positive Practical uses in counseling/teaching —can show effective empathy when we can relate to where a client is developmentally instead of projecting our own level on them.

24 Critiques - Positive lifespan: adult development → we talk about maturity levels and demands/rigours of life and acquisition of wisdom with age → perhaps a credible claim that this is indeed developmental

25 Critiques - Negative culture as a school is powerful, but it works against his assertion that everyone has two insatiable needs for autonomy and inclusion

26 Critiques - Negative Only relevant to the middle class in developed countries → where does this leave people who are not subject to modern life as we know it? Are they capable of progression through the stages even when some of their basic needs are not being met?

27 Critiques - Negative Do all people the world over go through
the same stages? Or is this theory an artifact of western society? A good organizing schema for modern G8 life?

28 Critiques - Negative only a few can understand Kegan’s higher stage explanation only 20-30% of adults reach stage 4 (Institutional) higher stage to lower stage communication — higher will not give attention to issues that involve the subject of the lower stage person

29 Critiques - Negative miscommunication as a result of “not on the same wavelength” development means to assist in moving persons along in their evolution between stages and figuring out why blockers to their development exist

30 Critiques - Negative gender: Demetrion points out that the “valorization of the autonomous’ self may be interpreted as a bias towards male development which deprecates the emphasis on women” ways of knowing and organizing their experiences through connectedness Kegan response: autonomy does not mean separateness

31 Critiques - Negative at what competency level does the world operate at? Putting people into molds? How can we recognize these transitions? Are they situation specific? Can one regress? Can one skip stages?

32 Critiques - Negative What does Kegan mean by “ fully evolved”?
Is this too subjective a measurement?

33 Applications/Conclusion
‘“enhances our capacities to take another person’s perspective” and “increases the accuracy of our empathy”’ question: “Are you imposing your current way of making sense when it may not be the (student’s) way of making sense?”

34 Applications/Conclusion
helps to “have a more accurate sense of what the (student’s) growing edge is and supporting that growth when it wants to occur”

35 Applications/Conclusion
questions in scaffolding/bridging change: “what are the biggest risks for the person making these kinds of changes?” “how can I create a relationship that serves as a bridge from where they have been to where they are going” → not where I want them to be ( Brophy goals, facilitator, scaffolding)

36 Applications/Conclusion
groups/challenge: tuning into each other, cooperating with one another → acknowledge perspectives beyond their own; received where they are but drawn into more complex experiences

37 Applications/Conclusion
Kegan seeks to resolve what seems like a contradiction between the goals of ‘self-directed learning’ and the many “practical” reasons that adults return to school “educate for the order of mental complexity that enables it”

38 Applications/Conclusion
satisfy the need for “growth” with the development of various skills to function more effectively in the “real world”

39 Applications/Conclusion
“Kegan believes that if schools and districts are going to change fundamentally, their leaders will need to too” “ more than inloading new skills… It’s going to require that everyone in a school system… be supported to keep growing and developing”

40 Applications/Conclusion
“If wanting to change and actually being able to are so uncertainly linked… why should we expect that even the most passionate school leader’s aspiration to improve instruction or close achievement gaps is going to lead to the changes actually occurring”

41 Applications/Conclusion
professional development of teachers — need to be trained to meet the students where they are at in their development and help them evolve into higher stages

42 Activity

43 Questions/Discussion

44 “When we see that we are not made up by the other's experience, we then have the capacity not to take responsibility for what is now genuinely and for the first time not ours. And as a result, we can get just as close to the other's experience (even the other's experience of how disappointing, enraging, or disapprovable we are!) without any need to react defensively to it or be guiltily compliant with it. “     Robert Kegan  Source: In Over Our Heads : The Mental Demands of Modern Life, Page: 127

45 Thank You For Your Attention

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