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ERIC Number: ED348596
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-19
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Student Development as Theory.
Rogers, Russell R.
Student development theory has been adopted as the guiding theoretical framework of the student affairs profession. Unfortunately this adoption has largely occurred without a critical analysis of the concept of student development as a gestalt. A case can be made that for the most part the theories of student development are logically coherent in and of themselves even though when somewhat esoterically assembled into eclectic groupings they are not necessarily coherent. In terms of the generalizability of student development theories, a number of concerns are evident which result from the changed and changing nature of today's college student population, including lack of updating; studies with small, socioeconomically homogeneous samples; and questions about the generalizability of student development theories in light of the call to celebrate diversity. Some theories are based on tautologies and are not testable. Interventions based on a particular student development theory may no longer be adequate to produce the desired change or outcome in a given student group. Student development theories have increased the understanding of individuals in the college environment and also have stimulated additional research in the field. There is a continuing question of whether specific theories apply to diverse student populations. Perhaps the most serious concern is that of eclecticism without theory and hence without logical coherence. (ABL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American College For related papers, see CG 024 413-416.