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Faculty & Research

Robert Kegan

Professor of Education, Emeritus

Robert Kegan

Degree:  Ph.D., Harvard University, (1977)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Vitae/CV:   Robert Kegan.pdf
Office:  Larsen 4


Robert Kegan is a psychologist who teaches, researches, writes, and consults about adult development, adult learning, and professional development. His work explores the possibility and necessity of ongoing psychological transformation in adulthood; the fit between adult capacities and the hidden demands of modern life; and the evolution of consciousness in adulthood and its implications for supporting adult learning, professional development, and adult education. In addition to his faculty appointment at HGSE, Kegan serves as educational chair of the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education; as codirector of a joint program with the Harvard Medical School to bring principles of adult learning to the reform of medical education; and as codirector of the Change Leadership Group, a program for the training of change leadership coaches for school and district leaders. Kegan, a licensed clinical psychologist and practicing therapist, lectures widely to professional and lay audiences, and consults in the area of professional development. "I have been told," he says, "it may help to know that I am also a husband and a father; influenced by Hasidism; an airplane pilot; a poker player; and the unheralded inventor of the 'Base Average,' a more comprehensive way of gauging a baseball player's offensive contributions."

Areas of Expertise

Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology,(2002)

Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Marywood University,(2000)

Honorary Doctorate of Letters, State University of New York,(1997)

Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of New Hampshire,(1995)

Teacher of the Year, Massachusetts Psychological Association,(1992)

Faculty Service Award, National University Continuing Education Association,(1987)

Spencer Research Fellowship,(1982)


Kim, J. S. (2006). The Effects of a Voluntary Summer Reading Intervention on Reading Achievement: Results from a Randomized Field Trial. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 335-355.

Change Leadership: Transforming Our Schools. (Tony Wagner, Robert Kegan, et al.). Jossey-Bass, 2005.

Toward a "New Pluralism" in the ABE/ESL Classroom: Teaching to Multiple "Cultures of Mind" – A Constructivist-Developmental Approach. (Robert Kegan, Maria Broderick, Eleanor Drago-Severson, Deborah Helsing, Nancy Popp, Kathryn Portnow & Associates). Cambridge: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, 2001 (Prepared for OERI.) 500+ pages.

How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages forTransformation. (Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey). Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2001.

"Easing a World of Pain: Learning Disabilities and the Psychology of Self-Understanding." In P. Rodis, A. Garrod, and M.L. Boscardin (Eds.) Learning Disabilities and Life Stories (MA: Allyn & Bacon), 2000.

"What 'Form' Transforms?: A Constructive-Developmental Perspective onTransformational Learning." In J. Mezirow (Ed.) Learning as Transformation: Critical Perspectives of a Theory-In-Progress (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass), 2000.

"From Taxonomy to Ontogeny: Thoughts on Loevinger's Theory in Relation to Subject-Object Psychology" (Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, and Emily Souvaine). In P.M. Westenberg, A. Blasi, and L.D. Cohn, Eds. Personality Development: Theoretical, Empirical, and Clinical Investigations of Loevinger's Conception of Ego Development. (Mahwah, NJ and London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), 1998.

"Epistemology, Expectation and Aging: A Developmental Analysis of theGerontological Curriculum." In J. Lomranz (Ed.) Handbook of Aging and Mental Health: An Integrative Approach. (NY: Plenum Press), 1998.

"Neither 'Safe Sex' Nor 'Abstinence' May Work--Now What?: Toward a Third Norm for Youthful Sexuality." In D. Cicchetti and S.C. Toth, Eds. Rochester Symposium on Developmental Psychopathology, Volume VII: Adolescence: Opportunities and Challenges. (Rochester, NY: Univ. of Rochester Press), 1997. "Minding the Curriculum." In Andrew Garrod (Ed.) Approaches to Moral Development: New Research and Emerging Themes. (New York: Teachers College Press), 1993.

In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life. Harvard University Press, 1994. (Paperback, 1995). (German translation, Kindt Verlag, in press)

A Developmental Framework for Assessing Youth in ProgrammaticInterventions. (Robert Kegan, Maria Broderick, and Nancy Popp). Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures, 1992. (Prepared for report to U.S. Department of Labor).

"Life After Formal Operations: Implications for a Psychology of the Self" (Emily Souvaine, Lisa Laskow Lahey, and Robert Kegan). In C.N. Alexander and E.J. Langer (Eds.) Higher Stages of Human Development. (New York: Oxford University Press), 1990.

"Mental Growth and Mental Health as Distinct Concepts in the Study ofDevelopmental Psychopathology: Theory, Research and Clinical Implications" (Laura Rogers and Robert Kegan). In Hugh Rosen and Daniel Keating (Eds.) Constructivist Approaches to Psychopathology. (Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), 1990.

"Learning, Knowing and the Self," (Ann Fleck Henderson and Robert Kegan). In K. Field, B. Cohler & G. Wool (Eds.) Motive and Meaning: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Learning and Education. (NY: International Universities Press), 1989.

A Guide to the Subject-Object Interview: Its Administration and Interpretation. (Lisa Laskow Lahey, Emily Souvaine, Robert Kegan, Robert Goodman, Sally Felix). Cambridge: The Subject-Object Research Group, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1988, 500 pp.

"The Child Behind the Mask: Sociopathy as Developmental Delay." In W. H. Reid, J.W. Bonner III, D. Dorr, and J.I. Walker (Eds.) Unmasking the Psychopath. (New York: W.W. Norton), 1986.

"Kohlberg and the Psychology of Ego Development." In Sohan and Celia Modgil (Eds.) Lawrence Kohlberg: Consensus and Controversy. (Sussex: Falmer Press Ltd.), 1985.

"The Loss of Pete's Dragon: Transformation in the Development of the Self in the Years Five and Seven." In R.L. Leahy (Ed.) The Development of the Self. (New York: Academic Press), 1985.

"Adult Leadership and Adult Development: A Constructivist View" (Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey). In B. Kellerman (Ed.) Leadership: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. (New York: Prentice-Hall), 1983.

"A Neo-Piagetian Approach to Object Relations." In B. Lee and G. Noam (Eds.) Developmental Approaches to the Self. (NY: Plenum Press), 1983.

"Social Cognition and Psychodynamics: Toward a Clinical-DevelopmentalPsychology." (Gil Noam & Robert Kegan). In W. Edelstein and M. Keller (Eds.) Perspektivat und Interpretation. (Frankfort: Suhrkamp Verlag), 1982.

"The Psychologic of Emotions" (Robert Kegan, Gil Noam, and Laura Rogers.) In D. Cicchetti and P. Pogge-Hesse (Eds.) Emotional Development. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass), 1982.

The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development. Harvard University Press, 1982. (Paperback, 1983). (German translation, Kindt Verlag, 1986) (Chinese translation, Laureate Book Company of Taiwan, 1999)

"There the Dance Is: Religious Dimensions of a Developmental Psychology." In J. Fowler and C. Brusselman (Eds.) Moral and Religious Becoming. (Englewood: Silver-Burdette), 1980.

The Sweeter Welcome, Voices for a Vision of Affirmation: Malamud, Bellow and Martin Buber. (Humanitas Press), 1976.


Fellow, Massachusetts Psychological Association

Fellow, Society for Values in Higher Education

Member, Editorial Board, Harvard Education Letter

Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Adult Development

Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Research in Child Development

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