Epistemological Perspectives on Cognitive Development in College Students.Report as inadecuate

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Seldom are college students introduced to theories that describe how they and other students change intellectually during their college years. Two epistemological perspectives on cognitive development in college students and how they can be presented to students are examined in this paper. The first perspective is William Perry's forms of intellectual and ethical development, which was based on white middle and upper class American college students. Three clusters of students were identified by Perry: Dualism, students who organize their thinking into discrete dichotomies; Relativism, students who recognize that knowledge, opinions, and value are relativistic and contextual; and Commitment, where students make choices about their values, careers, relationships, and other matters. The second perspective, devised by Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule, is called Women's Ways of Knowing. This orientation was based on interviews with 135 women of widely different ages, circumstances, and background. Participants'"ways of knowing" were grouped into five categories: Silence, Received Knowledge, Subjective Knowledge, Procedural Knowledge, and Constructed Knowledge. An overview on each of these categories is offered here. It is argued that both Perry and Belenky et al. place differences in students' assumptions about knowing on a continuum where reliance on authority, certainty of knowledge, and individual agency are the key variables. (RJM)

Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Cognitive Processes, College Students, Epistemology, Higher Education, Intellectual Development, Sex Differences, Student Attitudes, Student Development, Thinking Skills

Author: Hettich, Paul

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=12531&id=ED414556

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