Creating Affective Collaborative Adult Teams and Groups Guided by Spiral Dynamic Theory

The field of Adult and Continuing Education caters its teaching and learning to adults who are 25 years of age and older. This group brings to the higher education environment a unique set of skills and life experiences that require pedagogical delivery that is innovative and motivating. For example, older adults (who are often technology adverse) enter the higher education space as graduate students with reservations due to perceptions of disconnected and impersonal learning (e.g., online learning management systems (LMS) platforms). This proposal offers Spiral Dynamic Theory (SDT) as an instrument of course design scaffoldi2, ng for contemporary graduate-level courses that integrate technology, embodied learning, and memetic ways of knowing. Social constructivist worldviews aid in delivering this innovative learning that facilitates adult development through cultural diversity, student group collaborations, and team-based cooperation learning strategies. SDT is a theoretical framework of evolving psychosocial adult development using a color-coded mnemonic of hierarchical paradigms and worldview constructs identifying similarities and differences in human thinking. SDT helps adults recognize the deep-value systems at play within the group dynamics such that distributive leadership and interpersonal effectiveness for meeting collective goals are optimized in both academic and work environments. Ideally, adult learning progression moves from a simplistic to more complex neuropsychology and problem-solving capacity. Memes (i.e., units of culture) are negotiated among group members who pursue collaborative team goals and achievements. However, there is the potential for progression, entrenchment, and/or regression of thinking with the open-ended SDT framework serving as an interpretive guide to advance innovation.