William Perry’s Scheme of Intellectual
& Ethical Development
1. All knowledge is known. There are right and wrong answers
fixed once and for all.
2. Students rely on external authorities for the correct answers.
A. Basic Dualism
1. All problems can be solved
2. Only teachers and authorities know the answers.
3. Students need to learn the correct solutions.
A. Full Dualism
1. Experts (in the same fields, literature and philosophy)
2. Experts (in the same fields, sciences and mathematics) agree
3. There are correct solutions
4. Learners need to learn the correct solutions.
II. Multiplicity (Subjective Knowledge): Think
1. There are conflicting answers.
2. We do not rely on an external authority.
3. We rely on our inner voice.
A. Early Multiplicity: Most knowledge is
known. There are right and wrong ways
to find answers.
1. There are two types of problems
2. Problems whose solutions we know.
3. Problems whose solutions we do not know
4. Learners need to learn how to learn and to
find out what are the right solutions.
C. Late Multiplicity: Most
knowledge is not known.
Students learn to think for
1. Most problems are not fundamental.
Thus, we all have the right to our own
2. Some problems cannot be solved. So,
you can choose your own solution.
3. “Give the teachers what they want,”
even if I disagree with what I wrote.
1. All knowledge is contextual within which there are
right and wrong answers.
2. Students must study different contexts and listen
to different perspectives.
B. Contextual Relativism
1. Knowledge is discipline based and therefore
different techniques are used for different
2. Knowledge is based on history, society, culture,
perceptions, personal opinion, and other factors.
1. Students understand the need to make choices.
2. Students understand the need to be committed to
A. Commitment: Students make a
B. Challenges to Commitment
1. Students experience the impact of
2. Students explore issues of
commitment is a
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William Perry’s Scheme
of Intellectual & Ethical
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