Familiarize staff and faculty with Student Development Theory. Present the importance, history, and utility of these theories. Establish the differences among college and adult age groups. Know how to apply Student Development Theory to hypothetical situations.
Development is a process in which individuals expand their capacities and present a growth in abilities and knowledge. This growth is based on experiences and can be psychological, social and intellectual.
According to Piaget and Erikson human development can be divided in stages or periods. Erik H. Erikson present those periods in eight stages (Harder, 2009).
Student Development Theory (SDT)are a set of diverse theories that try to explain the way students develop, grow and mature during the years they are enrolled in a higher education institution (Evans, Forney and Guido-DiBrito, 1998).
Foundational Theories of student development began in the early 1960s. Some of the precursors in the area were: Nevitt Sanford Douglas Heath Roy Heath Kenneth Feldman and Theodore Newcomb
Ortiz (1995) and Evans et al. (1998) present that knowing Student Development Theories can help higher education personnel (staff, faculty, and administrators) to provide better programs and services based on student diversity and particularities.
Psychosocial Theories Cognitive-structural Theories Moral development theories Typology and adult development theories Identity development theories
Erik Erikson Arthur Chickering Arthur Chickering & Linda Reisser
Lawrence Kohlberg Carol Gilligan There are gender differences among the two theories
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Personality type theory). Developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers John Holland’s Career Development Theory David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory
Racial and Ethnic Identity Development -Cross model of Psychological Nigrescence -Helm’s Model of White Identity -Phinney’s Model of Ethnic Identity Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity Development -Cass’s Model of Homosexual Identity Formation -D’Augelli’s Model of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Development
The quantity of theories and models could be overwhelming. All theories have its limitations and can not be applied to every population or setting. They should be used to empower students, not to diagnose or tell them what to do.
When applying student development theories professionals should observe the following steps: Study and familiarize with diverse developmental models and typologies. Identify the issues or problems presented by the student. Select and apply the theories that relate to the issue and take decisions to improve services and environmental conditions.
Michelle was recently admitted to the university. Her mother wants her to study physics because Michelle is very good at that, she has excellent grades and the opportunity to apply for a science scholarship. She also likes to paint and everybody tells her that she has talent. Michelle is not sure about her career choices. She does not want to disappoint her mother nor want to give up on painting because she loves it.
1) Identify the issues or problems presented by the student. -the student is not sure about her career choices -the student has identified her abilities and preferences -the student feel guilty and does not want to disappoint her mother2) Apply the theories that relate to the issue and take decisions to improve services and environmental conditions. -Personality Type Theory/Career Development Theory/Gillian Theory of Moral Development -The institution can help Michelle providing her advising and counseling services to deal with her sentiments of guilt and family situation. They also could offer orientation services that will help her take well informed decisions regarding her career choices and future.
Is essential to recognize: Diversity (culture, ethnicity, gender). Individuality (personality, preferences, learning styles). Environment (experiences, campus climate, curricular and extracurricular activities).
Is also importantto recognize thateveryone in theinstitution is ateacher (Ruben,2004).
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