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Chickering's Theory

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Bruce Skinner

on 28 January 2016

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Transcript of Chickering's Theory

Managing Emotions
History and Overview of the 7 Vectors
.gender and cultural differences
can have an impact on the ordering and importance the vectors" (Evans, et al, 2010).

Vector experience can
differ based on social identities
, such as: gender, race, ethnicity, and/or sexual orientation (Evans, et al, 2010).

Assessment: Not easy within this format, and evaluation is limited. Development is continually occurring, and thus there is no easy way to say if a student has gone through all 7 vectors

Validation: Difficult to pin point, because each individual will interpret certain experiences differently. No solid way to prove the validation of the theory.
Theory has been used in several different areas

Can be used to evaluate and explain efforts
Developing Purpose (Your Why)
“[D]eveloping clear
vocational goals
, making meaningful commitments to specific
personal interests
and activities, and establishing strong interpersonal commitments” (Evans, et al, 2010).

Making decisions that one can commit to
Students’ decisions can be interrupted or stopped depending on their lifestyle and family influences

Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships
“[E]xperiences with relationships contribute significantly to the development of a
sense of self
” (Evans, et al, 2010)
“[T]he ability to accept individuals for who they are, to respect differences, and to appreciate commonalities” (Evans, et al, 2010).
Organizations who are a dominate race may have trouble accepting those of another race, therefore they have not developed a sense of mature interpersonal relationships. Instead of focusing on the values and standards of the organization and an individual, they are focusing on if they will be able to accept this individual for who they are.

“Students develop the ability to
recognize and accept
emotions, as well as to appropriately
and control them. In additions, students learn to act on feelings in a responsible manner” (Evans, et al, 2010).

• Chickering’s theory was first outlined in his book, Education and Identity (1969)
• His theory is based on research he conducted between 1959 and 1965 at Goddard College
• Chickering assessed students through achievement tests and personality inventories at the end of their sophomore and senior years
• He obtained data from 13 dissimilar small colleges across the country and used the information on the portion of his book that focused on the influences of the college environment on development
• His research was not intended for Higher Ed professionals
• A revised edition came out in 1993 in collaboration with Linda Reisser and contained 90% new material
Chickering's Theory
of Identity Development

Chickering and Reisser identified the stages of competence through intellectual competence, physical competence, and interpersonal competence (Evans, et al, 2010)

Developing Competence
“Increased emotional
, which is defined as “freedom from continual and pressing n
eeds for reassurance
, affection, or approval from others” (Evans, et al, 2010).

Students want to be viewed as adults by their parent(s)/family, however, they may not have the ability to define how to maintain positive relationships while seeking independence and interdependence (“an awareness of their interconnectedness with others”) (Evans, et al, 2010).

Moving Through Autonomy Toward Interdependence
Factors Related and Factors Among
Presentation by:
Dr. Bruce Skinner

Establishing Identity
Developing Integrity

“acquisition of knowledge and skills related to particular subject matter; development of “intellectual, cultural, and aesthetic sophistication” and
increased skill
in areas such as
critical thinking and reasoning ability
” (Evans, et al, 2010).
Students who begin to develop skills that allow them to navigate through subject matter with increased knowledge and begin to have more educated assumptions and/or reasoning towards situations.
“attention to
and involvement in artistic and manual activities” (Evans, et al, 2010).
Students have had an actualization or realization of the “freshman 15” and begin to tend to their physical well-being.
“skills in
communication, leadership, and working effectively with others
” (Evans, et al, 2010).
Having more confidence in communicating with others and feel comfortable building relationships.
Intellectual competence
Physical competence
Interpersonal competence
“[A]cknowledg[ing] differences in identity development based on
gender, ethnic back-ground, and sexual orientations
” (Evans, et al, 2010).

- Comfort with body and appearance
- Comfort with gender and sexual orientation
- Sense of one’s social and cultural heritage
- Self-acceptance and self-esteem
- Personal stability and integration
- Clear self-concept and comfort with hones’ roles and lifestyle
- Secure sense of self in light of feedback from significant others

Students may feel uncomfortable with who they are or they begin to realize they are not sure who they are. They may feel the pressure to fit the mold of what others have defined them as.

Three stages – humanizing values, personalizing values, and developing congruence.
Students’ drive and actions are derived from their values and when this action is recognized, they begin to make decisions that are in line with their true beliefs (they are not influenced easily by others).

Students are able to balance the interests of others as well as keeping their own values in balance (Evans, et al, 2010).
Acknowledging and respecting the beliefs of others. Students have also upheld the values in which they believe in.
“values and actions become congruent and authentic as self-interest is balanced by a sense of social responsibility” (Evans, et al, 2010).
Humanizing Values
Personalizing Values
Developing Congruence
Individual Interactions
Environmental Interactions
efforts support competence, autonomy, interpersonal relationships, and humanitarian concern (Evans, et al, 2010)
Klepper and Kovacs (1987) suggested that
student union
programs can encourage development along each vector (Evans, et al, 2010)
Students may not always take advantage of such programming
Students who do not need such programming/mentoring programs are more likely to participate in such activities
SA professionals should make special efforts to encourage students who need development to actively participate.
Women's Development
Development of students from various
Racial/Ethnic Groups
Development of Gay, Lesbian,
and Bisexual students
Knowing that students are going to worry about particular competency issues, SA professionals should be able to point students in the direction of activities that will encourage
growth intellectually, physically, and socially
(Evans, et al, 2010).
Residential Learning Contracts
" were used at George Mason University (introduced by Chickering). Students were asked to list learning outcomes to achieve by living in student housing, and at the end of the year students and staff evaluated and determined a "next step" (Evans, et al, 2010).
As SA professionals we must recognize that students can be within any one of these vectors at any stage, and they continue throughout their entire time, not just when the semester ends
Researchers have wondered how applicable the vectors are based on certain student populations.
Gender and cultural difference
could impact the
ordering of the vectors
(Evans, et al, 2010).
Women's identity development differs from that of men, especially when it comes to fostering interpersonal relationships, and
development may begin earlier
than men.
College females score higher on intimacy than male's do, and are overall more developed in interpersonal relationship than male's are in college (Evans, et al, 2010).
Different students categorize
certain vectors as more important than others

"...the role of assimilation in relation to a dominant culture, acculturation, and cultural awareness in development must be considered....affiliation plays an important role in development, and family and extended family exert a pervasive influence" (Evans, et al, 2010).

Little research has been done to prove if the theory meets the needs of
non-heterosexual groups

LGBT students face having to potentially give up a "majority" identity and developing a new "minority" identity.
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