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Analyzing Kegan's 'In Over Our Heads'

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Cultural Considerations Kegan’s work is highly interested in multiculturalism. In looking at levels of development of levels of consciousness, Kegan (1994) names the highest level of development as the Interindividual Self. At this level a person is able to able to hold and respect conflicting values systems. One is not threatened by opposing views. One can decide for themselves and evaluated their own biases. An interidividual level person is able to form their own value system. At this level a person is able to be clear of their values, while also respectful of those who hold opposing viewpoints. I am in agreement with Kegan who suggests that one does not reach full maturity and balance with their relationship with the world, until they are truly tolerant and respectful of diversity.

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It is important be aware of the developmental stage of a student and therefore be wise to expectations. Much of Kegan's 1994 book In Over Our Heads, is dedicated to understanding the pressures of modern day living. In addressing college learning, Kegan (1994) writes that while most learners approach college studies from an order 3 perspective, order 4 is the lens through which teaching is generally conducted. His attention to this is an important strength. The mismatch is relevant and avoidable. Professors demand students be independent, self directed, critically minded, and engaged. Rather than assuming students are self aware, Kegan (1994) highlights “the importance of building a consciousness bridge between the point at which the student first enrolls to a class (order 3) and the level at which they are expected to perform (order 4), acknowledging that the bridge builder must have an equal respect for both ends, creating a firm foundation on both sides of the chasm students will travel" (p.

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