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Think Again:
Adult Developmental Frontiers
in Higher Education
Michael Shiner
Harvard Graduate School of Education
[email protected]
+1-617-797-2594
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]
What does a more developed leader look like?
Alan Garber, Provost; Professor of Public
Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Professor of
Economics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences;
Professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard
Medical School; Member of the Board of
Syndics, Harvard University Press
http://vimeo.com/41514378#t=524
Compare a strong, but less developed leader Mitt Romney in London for a “charm
offensive”, as reported by Stephen Colbert:
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbertreport-videos/417012/july-26-2012/mittromney-s-london-olympics-blunder
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]
Key Questions
How might (or have) truth, beauty,
and goodness be revaluated,
reframed, and reimagined at your
university?
– Education: Curriculum, pedagogy,
assessment, etc.?
– Administration: Strategy, leadership,
operations, etc.?
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]
De-centering from one’s current epistemology
Development is an adaptive
rather than a technical
challenge (Heifetz, 1994).
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]
Stage view: Three plateaus in adult mental
development
(Kegan and Lahey, 2009)
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]
Dynamic View
Dynamic: Variation in skill is your level.
But, plateaus are quite similar
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]
Dynamic View continued
Key differences from Kegan:
• Development is domain
specific rather than domain
general, represented by a
developmental web rather
than generalized plateaus.
• Level of development within
each domain varies
depending on situation and
level of support, as in
dynamic skill.
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]
Further Reading:
Dynamic view of adult development - Fischer, K. W., & Bidell, T. R. (2006). Dynamic development
of action, thought, and emotion. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child
psychology (6th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 313-399). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons (available at
http://www.gse.harvard.edu/~ddl/articlesCopy/FischerBidellProofsCorrected.0706.pdf )
Implications of adult development for twenty-first century - Gardner, H. (2011). Truth, beauty,
and goodness reframed : educating for the virtues in the twenty-first century. New York: Basic
Books.
Applying adult development in the workplace - Garvey Berger, J. (Forthcoming). Changing on the
job: Growing leaders our organizations need: Yale University Press.
Adaptive leadership - Heifetz, R. A. (1994). Leadership without easy answers. Cambridge, Mass.:
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Dialogue - Isaacs, W. (1999). Dialogue and the art of thinking together : a pioneering approach to
communicating in business and in life. New York: Currency.
Adult development and the hidden curriculum of modern life - Kegan, R. (1994). In over our
heads : The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]
Further Reading continued
Applying adult development - Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2009).
Immunity to change : how to overcome it and unlock the potential in
yourself and your organization Robert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahey.
Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Leading conversations - Stone, D., Patton, B., Heen, S., & Fisher, R.
(2000). Difficult conversations : how to discuss what matters most.
New York, N.Y.: Penguin.
Questions, comments?
Please do not hesitate to contact me to continue the conversation:
Michael Shiner – [email protected], 617-797-2594
July 30, 2012
Think Again: Adult developmental frontiers in Higher Education,
© 2012 Michael Shiner – [email protected]

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