STAGES Theory: The Matrix Revealed provides a comprehensive review of the STAGES model of human development and the underlying research from which the theory is derived. The course is taught by Terri O’Fallon PhD, who created the STAGES model based on seven years of research, which is still ongoing.

About the STAGES Model

STAGES is a recent theory and assessment methodology, which builds on modern research into human development. STAGES was developed by Terri O’Fallon PhD, with support from the research team of John Kesler, Geoff Fitch, and Venita Ramirez, and has been further defined in practical, grounded approaches by Kim Barta. This developmental model evolved from two previous generations of developmental research, first in the 1970’s by Jane Loevinger, then into the late 1990’s by Susanne Cook-Greuter. It integrates this lineage with an integral framework inspired by Ken Wilber’s AQAL model. The STAGES Matrix incorporates new theoretical insights into human development and is grounded in statistical research. Like all theories of development, STAGES articulates several stages of development through which people move as they grow. Beyond this, there are several distinguishing features of the STAGES developmental framework and assessment that make it unique:

  • The STAGES Matrix describes 12 stages of human perspective development: six early and six late person perspectives. The resulting spectrum of development covers the earliest through the latest range of perspectives of human development.
  • Describes stages of perspective development and their repeating patterns, helping us see how we can progress through life and the complex cycles of experience that support us in our growth.
  • Shows how neurobiological structures coincide with and support perspective stage development.
  • Advances our understanding of the later stages of perspective development, articulating three new late stages of development in a third Metaware tier, foregrounding awareness of awareness.  Based on repeating patterns, it also predicts four stages in a Unified tier of development for which research validation does not yet exist.
  • Applies to both our center of gravity or core stage of perspective development, the range of perspective stages that are typically navigated by an individual, and our transient, contextual actions. While the STAGES assessment applies the model to our core stage of development, there are many other applications of the framework and the underlying assessment methodology beyond personal stage assessments.

The course consists of four 90 minute sessions taught by Terri O’Fallon PhD. All sessions will be in live video on the Zoom teleconference platform. Each session will consist of teaching along with live Q&A with participants.

  • All course sessions will be recorded and participants will have access the following day to video and audio versions of the recordings for playing and downloading.
  • Each session will be transcribed and a compilation transcript of the course will be provided in PDF format shortly after the course ends.
  • The course includes a collection of articles by Terri, all in PDF format. This includes material that has never been published.
  • The course will be hosted in an elegant online learning platform.
  • Course sessions will be held on these dates; all sessions are from 5:30-7:00pm Pacific / 8:30-10:00pm Eastern.

February 5 February 12 February 19 February 26

Who Is The Course for?

  • Researchers in the human development field
  • Teachers of psychology (clinical and therapeutic), organizational development and other fields of human behavior
  • Those who appreciate Integral Theory (“Integral Geeks”)
  • Anyone with an “evolutionary” orientation to life who is interested in newer models of human development theory and practice

What You Will Learn in This Course

  • A detailed understanding of the STAGES model and the research upon which it is based
  • The theoretical lineage of STAGES: The evolution of developmental theory
  • The unique features of STAGES that represent an advance in human development theory
  • How STAGES relates to Wilberian Integral Theory
  • The relationship between perspective views and stages of development
  • Preliminary findings from research on individuals at higher stages
  • How the precision and accessibility of STAGES can accelerate the adoption of developmental approaches in many fields: Current and emerging applications

Why What You Learn Matters

  • The underlying beliefs grounding developmental models and your personal beliefs matter. For example, do you believe in evolution? How do your own beliefs match up with the beliefs underpinning developmental models?
  • Relative to the STAGES model, learning about your own perspectives and how they are measured may be helpful.


Session 1: STAGES Integral Theory: Meta or Mezo

  • Where STAGES fits within the Integral AQAL MAP
  • Developing the meta-mezo theo
    • Concrete, Subtle, MetAware and Unified sub-quadrants
    • The zones and mezo interpretations
    • The person perspectives: perspectives are more than pronouns
    • The importance of the identification of objects as well as processes. (Identify not only that you are aware, but what is the level of the object that you are aware of.)

Session 2: The Research Plan: Creating an Integral Research Methodology

  • Peirce, Semiotics and inductive, abductive and deductive cycles
    • Evolutionary aspects of the methodology-initial Integral principles. Anything that falls outside of the theory evolves the theory
      • The tiers: Concrete, Subtle, MetAware?
      • The polar pairs: Individual or collective, interior/exterior
      • Zones: outside (active) and inside (passive) (Pierce, Kegan, Aurobindo, Toyota, Soren brier). Discriminative rules created along the way: Grammatical support
  • Conducting the research: The sifting of 24,000 sentence stems in four manuals. Where does each one fit in the theory, on the map, and in what perspective?
  • Raw data shapes the theory, and theory shapes the data. Principles emerge.
    • Concrete, Subtle, MetAware?
    • Individual or collective?
    • The four zones?

Session 3: Inter-Relationship of the Tiers: How the individual and collective shape each other; where located on the AQAL map

  • Individual shapes the collective shapes the individual
    • Collective shapes the individual
    • The Concrete individual and collective
    • The Subtle individual and collective
    • The MetAware individual and collective
  • The  three questions represent the basic perspective parameters
  • Triangulation/verification
    • The theory
    • The statistical study
    • The literature review: Diachronic (historical) and synchronic (today’s research on development) verification
      • Development of grammar (Toyota, Peirce, Chomski…)
      • Development of collectives
      • Development of perspectives
      • Brain studies (brain waves)
      • Luhmann and the zones (Soren Brier)

Session 4: Stages and Perspective positions

  • Repeating perspective positions, sometimes known as “states”, build stages, beginning with the senses
  • 275,000 word study and words that appear at different levels of development
    • Sensory words and objects
    • Perspective positions
    • Necessary but not sufficient
  • Scoring stages, and scoring states and shadow upon reflection
  • Continuous evolution: Create a scoring system that evolves with the times
    • Primary principles that hold everything, and expand with evolution
    • The objects of our perspectives evolve
  • The Future
    • Creating new inventories
      • Changing sentence stems for specialty protocols
      • Consistency studies
      • Cronbach’s alpha

Registration is Now Closed

The course includes:

  • Four 90-minute course sessions in live video
  • Video and recordings of each session (6 hours total) for playing and downloading
  • A collection of articles by Terri, including unpublished material (PDF)
  • A compilation transcript of all course sessions (PDF)
  • An elegant “online classroom”

After you register you’ll receive a receipt, a welcome email, and instant access to the online learning platform.

Have Questions? Need More Info? Please contact us at

About Terri O’Fallon

TerryO000Terri O’Fallon PhD is an Integral scholar who derives theory and research interests from a passionate practice of auspicious wondering, learning, and marinating in life; she is the daughter of a 95 year old dancing mother, eldest of seven siblings, parent of two adult children, grandparent of two granddaughters, and has over fifty years of teaching from pre-kindergarten through post PhD. She has a PhD. in Integral Studies and Masters degrees in Spiritual Direction and Special Education. These embodied experiences have supported her primary theory and research and teaching theme: Growing up is waking up throughout the lifespan. Teaching has been a theme throughout her life beginning as a preschool and first grade teacher, she has taught every grade, including special education and the gifted. She has had the role of principal of schools and superintendent of schools, and taught in seven colleges and universities. Her interest in life span development naturally arose from this field. Terri’s research experience spans 40 years including eleven research studies, conducted in various colleges, public schools and private research venues, but her most passionate theory, research and teaching work of the past eight years revolves around the Stages model which integrates the Integral model by Ken Wilber with the Ego development scale of Susanne Cook-Greuter. The STAGES model was a natural culmination of her life’s experience. Ordinariness has been the trajectory of Terri’s life. Steeped in philosophy, research, teaching, and a myriad of spiritual practices, her path continues to bring her solidly home to the practical living, breathing appreciation of the simple things in life. We wake up every morning. We grow up, quite naturally. We live through joys and sorrows, and face our family, friends, and neighbors every day. We grow old and watch our life approach its end as we apprehend the birth of our grandchildren. With the gifts of so many experiences, the highs and lows of being, what seems to always remain is what we were advised to do from birth: listening, gratitude, compassion, love, forgiveness, and generosity—lifelong lessons that never seem to end. Terri’s website is Click here to view her résumé.