Key concepts for understanding the work of Robert Kegan PhD

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Key concepts for understanding the work of Robert Kegan PhD

This article summaries the work of Robert Kegan PhD

Robert Kegan believes that the constantly changing demands of modern life may be developmentally inappropriate for many—perhaps even most—adults. We should no more blame or punish adults for their inability to meet the challenges of their lives than we would punish an infant for not being able to turn over, or a five-year-old who had not mastered abstract thinking. Instead of blaming adults for simply being unable to meet these demands, Kegan asks that we learn how to support development—and have the patience to wait for it to come. He says, “The expectations upon us…demand something more than mere behavior, the acquisition of specific skills, or the mastery of particular knowledge. They make demands on our minds, on how we know, on the complexity of our consciousness” (Kegan, 1994, p. 5).

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