Kung Fu Panda Monday

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Until next time

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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Kung Fu Panda Monday

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Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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#ATTI80: The Final Theory

WOW! Crazy to think that #ATTI80 is now over!!!

Over the past 80 days I’ve broken down 8 theories, gone through 13 dry erase markers, 1 container of Clorox wipes, utilized 2 whiteboards and, to close us out, have created 1 theory.

123567Yes, I’ve created theory, so let those pigs fly!

Now, this has been percolating in the back of my mind for months and even years of seeing my cohort work with theory during and after grad school; after engaging in many conversations with Graduate Assistants, colleagues and friends in the field; after observing the journeys of SAPros; and my own journey and struggle with theory. Over time, I’ve noticed some general patterns emerge on how individuals engage or have engaged in theory.

I’ve also observed how individuals many times cannot understand how or why someone may reject theory, or challenge it or perhaps why they are head over heels in love with theory. For me, I think it’s important as we develop, that we understand and acknowledge we are all at different places in theory engagement and that we shouldn’t chastise one another for our interpretation, use and level of engagement with theory. We each have our own story in how we encounter theory and theory engagement and I conjecture that it is just as much of a journey of development as identity or leadership development in many cases.

So as I progressed through the #ATTI80 Project my musings, observations and conversations seemed to formulate into a more structured understanding of theory engagement and I figured, why not close this great project out than to draw it out?

Therefore, I’m pleased to introduce you to:

Brian’s Theory of Theory Engagement!

Brian's Theory

In the Theory of Theory Engagement, there are chapters of engagement an individual may experience during their professional journey. There is no sequential order and many times, individuals will experience these chapters several times or even simultaneously. Due to my experience and hearing those of friends and colleagues, this theory is built on engagement with Student Affairs theory.

The Chapters are:

Rejection Chapter: This is a point in time (often when an individual is first introduced to theory) when they reject the need or role of theory in Student Affairs practice, normally due to negative experiences with those practicing theory, not necessarily with theory itself.

Embrace Chapter: This is a point in time when a individual works with theory without question or challenge.

Acceptance Chapter: This is a point in time of reconciliation and an individual confronts their resistance to theory and begins to accept the importance and role of theory in their work.

Learning Chapter: This is a point in time when an individual openly learns and engages in theory. Many times this is referred to during the Graduate School time, but also during proposal submission times and when building new programs.

Application Chapter: This is a time when an individual is fully engaged and applying theory to their work. Most often this is a chapter which overlaps other chapters such as Embrace, Learning, and Critical.

Critical Chapter: This is a point in time when an individual challenges existing theory as flaws are revealed.

Education Chapter: This is a point where an individual adds to, creates, and shares theory with colleagues, students etc. For some it’s during the conference season, while others consider their Doctoral programs this time period and even others consider it during times of teaching and faculty level positions.

As with every theory this is not perfect, but my goals for this is to perhaps provide better context and understanding for each of us when it comes to theory engagement and how to approach one another when working with theory.

Sometimes our hatred or love of theory tends to tunnel vision us. We begin to assume that another person’s level of knowledge and engagement with theory is the same as ours. When in all honesty we are each at different levels and different chapters in our theory engagement. And that’s PERFECTLY ALRIGHT.

So to those who are rocking out the theory and live and die by it…keep rocking on!

To those who reject theory…consider why and perhaps it’s the way you were introduced to it rather than theory in general.

To those who struggle with theory…keep going!

And to those who put theory to practice…be kind, be gentle and use purposefully!:)

And if you need either 1) help remembering the chapters and/or 2) if you really master understanding the chapters and able to use them to aid in your work and interactions with colleagues and others in the field you’ll totally be a R.E.A.L. A.C.E.!!

Hope you enjoyed the #ATTI80 Project and thank you so much for following it this summer!

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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Kung Fu Panda Monday

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Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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#ATTI80: Erikson

So today I thought I’d draw out Erikson. His identity development theory has popped up quite often lately in the texts I have been reading and a few conversations, so figured why not put it to the whiteboard?:)

As always, a bit of background!

Erikson is one of the most cited psychologists of the 20th century. His work in psychology has been used by the leading theorists of today. He’s served as faculty at both Yale and Harvard and has done research across the United States. He was the first clinical psychologist to work with identity development as a life journey. Fun fact about Erikson, his original surname was Hamburger, but when he earned his US Citizenship, he changed it to Erikson.

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But onto Erikson’s Theory! The identity development theory Erikson created is broken down to 8 Stages and each has a key moment of “crisis” in which an individual develops and balances internal and external environments before moving to the next stage.
The 8 Stages are:

Stage 1: Basic Trust vs. Mistrust – A stage of learning Hope. This stage occurs in the infancy stage, where the infant learns basic primordial trust and mistrust with its parents and environments.  (Whether ot not an infant trusts and relies on the bottle from a parent for nurishment)

Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt – A stage of learning Will. This stage occurs as children begin to explore through crawling, walking and control of bodily actions. (Ability to be toilet trained or continue to have accidents)

Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt – A stage of learning Purpose. This stage occurs in the years of preschool ages where children begin to learn right from wrong as effects of their actions. (Right thing to do or Wrong thing to do?)

Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority – A stage of learning Competence. This stage occurs in elementary where children learn skills to become useful actors in society through lack of appreciation or encouragment from adults and peers. (Learning the alphabet right, learning numbers wrong, etc.)

Stage 5: Identity vs Indentity Diffusion – A stage of learning Fidelity. This stage occurs in an individual’s teen age years when they are establishing their identity and sense of purpose and self. (The confidence and development of one’s identities)

Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation – A stage of learning Love. This occurs in a young adults life where they work through intimate relationships, friendships, and other relationships in their community. (Broken hearts, friendships, and relationship building)

Stage 7: Generativity vs. Stagnation – A stage of learning Care. This stage occurs as adults and whether or not they give back to society and foster growth in the generations behind them throgh mentoring, children, etc. (Flourishing flowers or decaying flowers?)

Stage 8: Integrity vs. Despair – A stage of learning Wisdom. This stage occurs is late adulthood and death becomes a realistic inevitability in their timeline and whether or not they relfect on their life as “productive” or “wasted”. (Do one make good life choice or bad life choices?)

As I drew this out, I could see and really identify my personal journey through these stages. I think however, in term of the timeline and at what point in my life they occured is a bit different than what Erikson proposes because coming out as gay in my late 20s, I had to back track and redo a few stages and then “catch back up”. But still, it was interesting to be able to section off my life in stages and see the growth and development!

Hope you enjoy!

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

 

References

Evans, Nancy J., et al. (2010). Chapter three: Psychosocial identity development.Student development in college: theory, research and practice (ed. 2, pp. 47-52). San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.

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Kung Fu Panda Monday

Shifu and Oogway

Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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Kung Fu Panda Monday

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Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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