ERIC Number: ED348598
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-19
Student Development as Professional Practice.
Rogers, Russell R.
In recent years 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 or of the individual theories touted as central to understanding college students. Together the two components of theory and practice embroil the profession of college student affairs in a strong interaction of intellectual learning and the testing of that learning through experience. Here, the artificial gulf between ideas and action (theory and practice) is bridged, enabling professionals to learn ideas for action, theory for practice. Student development theory has offered some significant contributions to student affairs practice and second, student development theory has created some significant problems for student affairs practice. Contributions have included: a needed new role; linkage to the academy and revised purpose; planned development; program and intervention rationale; political savvy; and a research focus. Problems have included: (1) preponderance of theories; (2) diversity in background/preparation; (3) ambiguous directions for application; (4) pragmatic/anti-theory bias; (5) generic, not specific, understanding; (6) indiscriminate use of theory; (7) lack of critique; (8) theory as prescription; (9) theory versus organizing framework; and (10) bandwagon claims. (ABL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American College Personnel Association (Atlanta, GA, March 15-20, 1991). For related papers, see CG 024 413-415.