Kegan Constructive Developmental Theory

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Presentation about Kegan's Orders of Consciousness

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  • @dougleemiller That's a very good question. I originally studied Kegan's work in 2010. I am at a very different point now than I was then. I have recently decided that I need to pick up his books again and see what the theory looks like from my new vantage point. I will use those questions to focus my reading and get back with you. Thanks for your interest.
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  • Hi Jessica, I would love to hear your thoughts on the answers to slide 9.
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Kegan Constructive Developmental Theory

  1. 1. Robert Kegan’s<br />Constructive-Developmental Theory<br />Orders of Consciousness<br />
  2. 2. Objectives <br />Participants will construct definitions of “worldview” and “meaning-making” from the subject-object perspective.<br />Participants will compare and contrast Kegan’s orders of consciousness.<br />Participants will discuss possible ways to help others move from one order to the next and support others in overwhelming situations.<br />
  3. 3. Why is Kegan’s theory different? How is it helpful in education?<br /><ul><li> It points to another, less judgmental way to understand differences in adult behavior
  4. 4. It is not primarily based on intelligence
  5. 5. It provides a basis for finding common ground
  6. 6. It describes a specificway of makingsense of ourenvironment, includingrelationshipsand responsibilities
  7. 7. It extends Piaget’s theory beyond </li></ul>adolescence<br />
  8. 8. Piaget’s Theory of Development<br />Based on mental structures that determine how one perceives experiences.<br />Stage 1(sensory-motor intelligence, 0-2 yrs): organizing stimulation, assimilating experience, accommodating to the environment, and organizing a schema (model) of the world.<br />Stage 2 (preoperational thought, 2-7 yrs): using language and other symbols, understanding the value of rules, situation-bound, no logical/systematic organization<br />Stage 3 (concrete operations, 7-11 yrs): mental operations on objects or mental representations, realization that others have intentions, purposes, and points of view.<br />Stage 4 (formal operations, 11-15 yrs): thinking about possibilities and alternatives, thinking about thought<br />
  9. 9. Subject-Object Perspective<br />Meaning-making: process of understanding the world; level of complexity<br />Worldview: perspective; way of seeing the world <br />Subject – we are; structure of knowing; the essence of a thingor person<br />Object – we have; content of knowing; the part thatcanbeobservedor changed<br />
  10. 10.
  11. 11. Kegan’s Orders of Consciousness<br />2nd order: Durable Category – “It’s all about me!”<br />The person is defined by their point of view, needs, and wants. They are able to recognize that others have needs and wants, but cannot necessarily make decisions based on processing that one set of needs comes before the other. They do not recognize that they control their perspective. They tend to make decisions based on social perceptions, their own perceptions of situations, and impulses. Long-term planning and consequences are not heavily weighed.<br />3rd order: Cross Categorical/Traditionalism – “We’ve always done it this way!”<br />The person is defined by their interpersonal relationships. They make decisions based on how it will impact their relationships with others. They are able to understand abstract concepts. These people can recognize and are impacted by their inner states; however, they are not yet able to modify their inner states or analyze their preferences. They tend to understand things from different points of view; however, there is still an emphasis on their perception being the right way of doing something. There is a focus on following rules, traditions, and norms. <br />4th order: System/Modernism – “I wonder what would happen if…”<br />The person defined by abstract systems, theories, or ideologies. They are able to recognize multiple relationships and roles within the social structure. They can reflect on their own actions and modify future behavior to achieve desired results. They tend to make decisions based on their consistency with an over-arching theory or ideology. This person tends to think more along the lines of systems of interactions.<br />
  12. 12. Responses in Daily Environments<br />
  13. 13. Compare-Contrast<br />How would these situations be viewed from each order of consciousness?<br /><ul><li>Your child is failing math, reading, etc.
  14. 14. You have been asked to do more than you think you can manage
  15. 15. A close relationship seems to be always conflictual</li></ul>3rd - Cross-Categorical<br />4th – System/Complex<br />2nd - Durable Categories<br />
  16. 16. The level of developmentcannotalwaysbedeterminedfrom actions, but from the reasons for and thought-processbehindthose actions. <br />
  17. 17. Challenge and Support<br />Holding Environment<br />“provided both welcoming acknowledgement to exactly who a person is right now…and fosters the person’s psychological evolution” (Kegan, 1994, p. 43)<br />Balanced Approach<br />“people grow best when they continuously experience an ingenious blend of support and challenge; the rest is commentary” (Kegan, 1994, p. 42)<br />Appropriate Helping<br />“we will never be well understood or well helped if we are seen as ‘unsuccessful’ in the exercises of tasks that require a fourth order of consciousness precisely because we are not actually engaged in tasks of fourth order consciousness” (Kegan, 1994, p. 99)<br />
  18. 18. Transformational Learning<br />
  19. 19. TransformationalTeaching<br />Critical questioning to identify underlying assumptions, beliefs, and values<br />Collaborative activities, role-play, simulation, experiential learning<br />Facilitate or engage in dialogue in a safe environment<br />Encourage creating life histories, journal writing, and self-reflection<br />Challenge them to see things from a different perspective<br />
  20. 20. Supporting Others<br />Guidance through complex systems<br />Recognize and don’t overwhelm<br />Fair rules<br />Understand that one Order is not better than another, just more complex.<br />Non-judgmental assistance<br />Advocacy<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. References<br />Brookfield, S. (2010). Developing critical thinking: Challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting. San Francisco: Josey-Bass Publishers.<br />Kegan, R. (1982). The evolving self. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.<br />Kegan, R. (1994). In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. <br />Ketcham, S. (2008). A question of capacity: Can adolescents practice discernment?. Journal of Youth Ministry, 6(2), 11-29. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.<br />Marienau, C., & Segal, J. (2006). Parents as developing adult learners. Child Welfare, 85(5), 767-784. Retrieved from MEDLINE with Full Text database.<br />Merriam, S., Caffarella, R, & Baumgartner, L. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide, third edition. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.<br />Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 74, 5-12. <br />

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