Author: Rūta Lūse, chairman of the board of organizational development centre “Spring Valley”

Adults’ development process is one of the “hottest” topics nowadays, therefore, it has been on the agenda of many researchers in different times. For a long time, it was assumed that adults stop developing (physically…) at the age of 20 years. But lately the developmental researchers proved that adults continue to progress through predictable stages of mental development. 

The latest research shows that clarifying how the concepts of education, training and development are defined and perceived is one of the most crucial steps, when we think about raising the adults’ training and development process effectiveness. Therefore, the most modern adult teaching approach is based on the idea that a trainer has to take in account that his trainees should develop and release their full potential in their lives and careers. 

In this case it’s important to take in account that, in the modern sense, adult development processes are being viewed in different stages. For example, according to Robert Kegan, American developmental psychologist, there are five stages of adult development and the hierarchy of these stages matters as, by reaching higher levels of development, people grow “bigger in minds”. Generally, this is a “story” about transformation – the process, which plays a crucial role in adults’ learning and development process.  Therefore, this article is mostly based on his ideas, which are preferable to take into account in building a good adult training program – programs that meet adults’ learning and personal development expectations and needs.

Read more about the adult development stages as well as about the education, training, development and transformation concepts. You will find the the full version of the learning material at our Toolkit (click here).