Friday, July 19, 2013

Stuff for Community of Practice paper?

Perry, William G., Jr. (1981).  Cognitive and ethical growth: The making of meaning. In Arthur W.
Chickering and Associates, The Modern American College. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass: 76-116.

Perry, William G., Jr. (1970), Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years: A
Scheme (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston); reprinted November 1998; Jossey-Bass; ISBN:
0787941182 .

UW Colleges Virtual Teaching & Learning Center

Cognitive DevelopmentBelenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule's Women's Ways of Knowing

It's interesting that there's often a reference to "differing viewpoints" and the need to accept and consider them (in the COI), and here the further more active process of "negotiating" them.
William Perry's model of cognitive and moral development suggests that many/most students come to college near the start of the journey, at "dualism" where they see the world of knowledge as dividing into "right or wrong" usually determined by a higher authority. (Baxter Magolda updates this to call it "absolute knowing".)
We've witnessed in first year college classes the collision between "what my parents taught me" and everyone else's "what my parents taught me", not to mention open academic thought. I had a student once who came to my very large state u (who knows why her parents decided that was the place for her) after being home-schooled by her parents. Her father was also, btw, her minister. He'd disagreed on some theological point with their previous church, and founded his own church, with a congregation consisting of his own children. Talk about absolute knowing-- she had not previously been exposed to ANY adult voices that weren't Mom and Dad, who were pretty literally speaking from a Godlike perspective. She was a nice young lady and certainly didn't argue with all the diverse viewpoints encountered in a large urban university classroom, but she was appalled. Scared. And she never did break out. All of her papers, regardless of the assignment, were some version of "how I came to Jesus with Dad's help." She dropped out before the end of the semester. But I've always thought of her as an example of someone who couldn't move beyond the dualism, for whom divergent viewpoints were a threat.
Then again, some students arrive in or quickly achieve "multiplicity"-- "everyone's got their own opinion, equally valid." This is an advance, but does it require "negotiation"? Acceptance, yes, but "negotiation" would seem to require discussion. These are the students who are quite comfortable with assignments like "literature reviews" and "annotated bibliographies" which require the neutral summary of other viewpoints. But they still need to progress to be able to evaluate, consider, choose, or even analyze. 
I teach "thesis" in classes- how to cogently express the point of your paper. And the initial posting of a student's thesis can often place him/her pretty squarely in dualism or multiplicity. The dualist will present an opinion-- "this is right." Everything is an argument paper, and the thesis is the judgment. The multiplicity dweller will generally post some statement of fact (inarguable), or a sort of consensus of opinions without further comment. 

No comments:

Post a Comment