Adult Development and Leadership

Specialization Description

This specialization, focusing on the Individual Interior dimension of our Integral Model, is designed to engage students in a deeply reflective and intellectually rigorous exploration of the field of adult developmental psychology as it relates to conflict analysis and engagement and leadership. This specialization allows students to focus more deeply on the nuances and subtleties of developmental theory and practice, and its application to conflict and leadership, and to tailor their own practice to include its use. There will be a strong orientation toward applied knowledge and learning.

Students will be asked to focus their learning on their own personal growth and evolution, on their relationships both within the program and in their internships and professional lives, as well as their own relationship to the field of knowledge. This specialization requires a parallel process for each student between learning the content in order to apply it in their professional lives, and applying the content to their own self-reflective practice.

Focus of Specialization

  • As adults, our minds can and do continue to evolve toward greater complexity of understanding.
  • As our minds evolve toward greater complexity, we gain greater awareness and perspective on ourselves and others in interaction with our world.
  • As we gain greater awareness and perspective, we become better leaders and are better able to engage in and learn from conflict in life-affirming and transformational ways.

These three basic ideas form the structure and sequence of the courses in this specialization:

  • The History and Evolution of the Field of Developmental Psychology
  • The Evolution of the Self in Conflict: Constructive-Developmental Theory
  • The Evolution of Immunity to Change

Each course will engage students on three levels of experience and learning:

  • 1st person individual reflection
  • 2nd person dialogue
  • 3rd person analysis

Learning Goal
Students will be much better equipped to bring the developmental focus to their professional lives in leadership and conflict mediation if they have established a practice of self-inquiry and self-reflection in relation to their own meaning and experience of conflict and leadership.

Required Courses

CAE6160: The History and Evolution of the Field of Developmental Psychology

Experience is not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you.” (Aldous Huxley)

This course will trace the evolution of thought and knowledge-construction within the field of Developmental Psychology, particularly as it attends to the development of human meaning-making – what Kegan calls the essential motion of human being”—and the what you do with what happens to you.” The origins of this field can be found in the works of James Mark Baldwin, John Dewey, George Herbert Meade, and most centrally, Jean Piaget. We will look at the work of all of these theorists, along with many others in the lineage, as we follow the development of the thinkers and their thoughts through this field of making sense of our human experience. We will also look at present-day knowledge construction through the lens of our Integral perspective, to explore the continuing evolution of the field and where it might lead us,
and how it can help illuminate and clarify our understanding of the meaning and evolution of leadership and conflict engagement and analysis.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. identify the major theorists within the field of developmental psychology and the significant contributions of each
  2. describe the cultural contexts within which each phase of developmental psychology emerged, and how they transformed in relation to each other.
  3. critique the primary theories of developmental psychology, particularly theories of adult development, with regard to each theory’s biases, blind spots, important insights, and overall contributions to the field.

CAE6170: The Evolution of the Self in Conflict: Constructive-Developmental Theory
This course explores the evolutionary trajectory of meaning-making in adulthood and the ways that we understand, experience, and engage the conflicts, from the banal to the profound, that inevitably show up along our journey. Conflicts and the meaning they hold for us have a powerful impact on our sense of identity, membership in our communities, and our constructions of our world. Without conflict, we do not grow. With too much conflict, we wither and retreat. This course will take an in-depth look at the evolution of the self and its meaning-making across the lifespan, focusing primarily on the journey through adulthood. We explore this time called adulthood” not as a single, last phase of human development, but as part of an evolutionary journey involving significantly different eras and transformations. Within the
context of leadership and conflict analysis and engagement, we will use conceptual and literary readings, conference calls, self-reflective practice, and online dialogue to plumb the depths of the evolution of meaning-making in adulthood. The complexity of one’s meaning-making holds significant implications for the ways in which individuals understand, relate to, and experience conflict and leadership. In this course students will attend to understanding their own meaning-making around conflict and leadership while also attending to the meaning-making of their clients, colleagues, family and friends.

Learning outcomes:
At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a clear knowledge and understanding of the evolutionary journey of meaning-making in adulthood.
  2. identify and describe the primary characteristics and orientations of the most common mindsets in adulthood.
  3. identify and describe the unique logic with which each mindset makes sense of conflict and leadership and the implications of that on a mediation process.
  4. identify their own approximate level of meaning-making complexity and how it guides their personal responses to and understanding of conflict and leadership.

CAE6180: The Evolution of Immunity to Change
This course will apply the theory and methodology of constructive-developmental psychology to leadership and mediation practice. We will focus on the methodologies of Kegan & Lahey’s Immunity to Change, Torbert’s Action Inquiry, Goodman’s Developmental Coaching, and engage in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person investigations of the theoretical and conceptual foundations for each methodology as well as the administration and practical application of each.

Students will be expected to engage with these methodologies in their own reflective practice throughout the course, and to keep a reflective practice journal. At the beginning of the course, students will, in consultation with the instructor, create their own individual learning goals for the course and develop an individualized trajectory and strategies and to enhance and support their own evolutionary journey. These goals and strategies will be based on each student’s own current complexity of meaning-making as assessed by an Immunity to Change Map.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. describe each methodology and its most appropriate and beneficial application.
  2. design an intervention using each methodology, identifying processes and procedures, and learning outcomes
  3. identify and apply each methodology in relation to different complexities of meaning-making.
  4. define, create, and employ an ongoing reflective practice in relation to their personal and professional growth.