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Student Development Theory
Transcript of Student Development Theory
Challenge & Support
Marginality & Mattering
Student Development Theory
A PARADIGM is a "basic set of beliefs that guides action."
Development of the whole student is more complex than one theory or even a cluster of theories can explain.
The body of knowledge is constantly changing and expanding -- everyone who works with college students needs to read and familiarize themselves continually to stay current with the rapidly expanding body of literature.
Four uses of Theory
-- What is happening?
-- why is it happening?
-- will this always happen under these conditions? (rare)
-- if we control the conditions can we make this happen? (pretty much never)
Linking Theory with Practice
Scholarly practice is intentional, theory based, and data driven.
History of the Student Development Movement
The need to place students in the world of work
Student Personnel Point of View
" - educators must guide the whole student to reach his or her potential with an eye to preparing citizens
Sanford: The cycles of differentiation & integration; balancing support & challenge
D. Heath: Maturation along 5 growth dimensions in 4 areas: intellect, values, self-concept, & interpersonal relationships
R. Heath: Two dimensions to be considered: Ego functioning & individual style.
Feldman & Newcomb: Delineated the impact of peer group influence on individual students
In 1968 Higher Education was pressured as never before to assume responsibility for the human development of their students; the established accountability for professionals to meet the challenges of intentional student growth
Theories from the 1950's-1970's -
Chickering -- Vectors of development
Perry -- Intellectual development
Kohlberg -- Moral development
Integrative approaches -- it is not possible to separate cognitive & affective aspects of development
Social Identity Theory -- Development of identity differs according to ethic identity, sexual identity and gender identity
"the ways that a student grows, progresses, or increases his or her developmental capabilities as a result of enrollment in an institution of higher education." -- Rogers
Three components of a paradigm
ONTOLOGY -- Explores questions about the nature of reality
EPISTEMOLOGY: Examines how the inquirer comes to understand the world.
METHODOLOGY: Focuses on the process of how the information is obtained.
Assumes that an objective reality exists that is time and context free and can be stated in the form of cause and effect laws.
Many Student Development theories can be said to be positivist in their perspective.
Critical paradigms deconstruct and critique institutions, laws, organizations, definitions and practices to screen for power inequities.
Examining student development theories and unpacking them helps us engage in critical understanding.
Cultural paradigms hold that truth is socially constructed based on "invisible gender, culture, sexuality, class, language, and even personality preferences."
Ethnography research allows us to understand the realities of specific populations of students.
Emerging research in student development has emphasized constructivism as a paradigm, based on
hermeneutic (interpretive) and dialectical (critical) methodology.
"INFORMAL THEORY is the body of common knowledge that allows us to make implicit connections among events and persons in our environment and upon which we act in everyday life." -- Parker
"FORMAL THEORY is a set of propositions regarding the interrelationship of two or more conceptual variables relevant to some realm of phenomena." -- Rogers
How to evaluate theories...
1. On what population is the theory based?
2. How was the theory developed?
3. Is the theory descriptive?
4. Is the theory explanatory?
5. Is the theory prescriptive?
6. Is the theory heuristic?
7. Is the theory useful in practice?
When you are up to your ass in alligators, it can be hard to remember that your task was to drain the swamp.
To be of any use, theory must be based on situations found in real life.
Typology: Differences between and among people create a framework in which individual development occurs and influences how students address development in various aspects of their lives.
M B T I
Don't go out willy nilly and try this stuff....
Labelling not good for peeps
Assumptions of what is best
Theories must be evaluated
Students are not blank slates
Reality is complex.
Student development does not explain all behavior.
The Student Personnel Point of View (1949)
A student's growth in personal & social wisdom rests on the following conditions:
to his college environment
Student succeeds in his
Student finds satisfactory
Student achieves a
sense of belonging
Student learns balanced use of
Student understands and uses his
Student develops lively & significant
Student achieves understanding & control of
Student progresses toward appropriate
individuality & responsibility
ethical & spiritual meaning
Student learns to
live with others
Student progresses toward satisfying & socially acceptable
Student prepares for satisfying, constructive
PRESCRIPTIVE: giving exact rules, directions or instructions - allows us to
HEURISTIC: related to exploratory
self-educating techniques to
improve performance & solve
are more predictable
and harder to influence than inconsistent
tend to exert
more influence than inconsistent envi-
Refers to the degree to which a person or
environment is well defined.