Ch 5 Evans Student Development in College

Perry’s Theory of Intellectual Development (History)
– researched how students engage with and making meaning from the learning process
– typical course of development of students’ patterns of thought
– longitudinal study of men and women but almost exclusively used only results from men to justify his theory (Hmmmm…wonder why?)
Perry’s Theory
– forms of intellectual and ethical development are the structures that shape how people view their experiences
– 9 positions on a continuum of development
– position instead of stage because: no assumption of duration, individuals demonstrate range, consistent with world view
– continuum is from duality to evolving commitments
– the world is viewed dichotomously: good-bad, right-wrong
– learning is information exchange; educators are “right” and they give info “facts”
– right answers exist for everything
– ideas are swallowed whole from authority figures with no questioning
– honoring divergent views when the right view is not known
– all opinions are equally valid
– perceptions of student role shift to that of learns to think independently (critical thinking)
– peers become more legitimate sources of knowledge
– recognition of the need to support opinions
– knowledge is qualitative- based on what you can prove
– accepts information on the basis of a process of critical analysis (may reject or keep authority views, but does so after reflection)
Commitment in Relativism
– does not involve changes in cognitive structures (i.e., cognitive development)
– initiating ethical development
– relativism is the idea that points of view have no ultimate truth because they come from different perspectives
– growth in this position is based on being able to make choices and decisions from this idea
– 2 aspects characterize thinking: area (social content) and style (balance between external and subjective)
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a ‘time-out” period when movement is postponed or to provide a rest period
– a plateau is maintained; development is put on hold
– there is a hesitation to take the next step
Horizontal Decalage
lateral growth or development within a particular stage
– deflection involving an abandonment of responsibility characterized by alienation
– avoidance of responsibility leads to failure to make commitments
– temporary return to dualism and results from being overwhelmed and over challenged
Informal Assessment (Applications)
– form tentative opinions of student development via individual interactions
– my note: seems incredibly subjective and unreliable; from an administrative standpoint, I would never trust all staff to be able to effectively do this and make reliable assumptions
The Developmental Instruction Model (Applications)
– Knefelkamp and Widick took Perry’s theory and created a model based on his ideas
– four variables of challenge and support, existing on a continuum, characterize the model
Structure (DI Model)
– framework and direction provided to students
– high degree to low degree on continuum
– students in early positions want higher degrees; students in more advanced positions want lower degrees
Diversity (DI Model)
– alternatives and perspectives presented and encouraged
– quantity refers to amount
– quality refers to complexity
– can be introduced through variety in readings, assignments, points of view, and instructional methods
Experiential Learning (DI Model)
– concreteness, directness, and involvement contained in the learning process (think student-centered learning: they do, we guide)
– helps students connect to subject matter
– students in early stages need this most
Personalism (DI Model)
– creating a safe environment where risk-taking is encouraged
– enthusiasm for the material, instructor availability, and comprehensive feedback are required
– especially important for students in the early stages of cognitive development
Classroom Applications
– helps to form connections with students as an instructor engages with teaching PEOPLE rather than teaching content
– learning where the student is in their development will help in the ways an instructor can communicate learning needs
Staff Supervision (Student Affairs Application)
– helps to assign appropriate duties to staff based on their own progress along the developmental continuum (multiplistic assigned to relavistic, etc)
Advisors (Student Affairs Application)
– knowing what stage a student is at can assist in the advising process (a dualistic thinker wants a decision made for him/her, etc)
– counseling women: apply plus-one staging since women advance through development differently