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ERIC Number: ED428084
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Oct
Pages: 78
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Perry: Fact, Fiction, and Outcomes Assessment.
Brooks, Gordon P.
Theories concerning cognitive development or complexity include one developed by W. G. Perry, Jr., and his colleagues (1970). Research related to Perry's scheme is analyzed to suggest ways by which this particular theory can be validated. The first part of the paper describes Perry's scheme and assumptions of cognitive development theories in general. Perry described late-adolescent development in terms of nine positions, or coherent forms of thought. The scheme represents a continuum that describes the steps by which students move from a simplistic, categorical view of the world to a realization of the contingent nature of knowledge and values to the formation and affirmation of their own commitments. Other researchers have attempted to operationalize the relevant constructs in Perry's theory. The evidence concerning the reliability of currently used measures based on Perry's scheme is reviewed, including information on scaling and scoring. Other alternatives for measuring these relevant constructs in Perry's theory are explored. A look at all these approaches suggests some ways in which Perry's theory might be validated. Accountability issues in student personnel are of increasing interest, and the Perry scheme has considerable relevance for these concerns. Some of the major issues involved in developmental research are reviewed, including assessment problems, measurement issues, selection of sample subjects, and research design difficulties. The design of a course of research is explored, including a discussion of the relevance of qualitative methods to such research, improvements on efforts by others, and the possibility of alternative scaling procedures. (Contains 2 tables, 1 figure, and 114 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A