Brennan Dignan is currently the Associate Director of Admissions for Bennington College in Bennington, VT and prior was the Assistant Director of Admissions for Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. He is passionate about the pursuit of higher education as a means for growth and self-empowerment, particularly for those students disaffected by our current approach to schooling.
My aspiration is to be iterative and creative, working to empower the individual while ensuring that whatever we cook up aligns “true” to the progressive framework THS has in place. Which brings me to the thrust of what I wanted to speak to in this post: Robert Kegan’s developmental theory and its potential relevance to the crazy world of the college search and selection process.
We need to rethink the winners and losers narrative. One of the common threads I have seen over the last few weeks points out the discrepancy between winners and losers in education and the privileged who are disproportionately granted access.
If a child goes off the rails a bit in our system early on, the approach is usually to try and re-engineer the student through pharmacological intervention and/or behavioral remediation without questioning the contributions the system may have made.
In a system where students are constantly compared and competing against each other, where compliance is the standard by which all are measured and external validation how one derives a sense of self-worth; few are prepared to make an educated choice about which path is the best for them.