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ERIC Number: EJ791323
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Making Connections: Using Skill Theory to Recognize How Students Build and Rebuild Understanding
King, Patricia M.; VanHecke, JoNes R.
About Campus, v11 n1 p10-16 Mar-Apr 2006
Despite the importance accorded to helping students make conceptual connections and arrive at a more sophisticated understanding of how ideas, concepts, theories, and explanations interact with and inform one another, educators have few maps to help them describe the process by which students learn to make these connections. Through skill theory, Kurt Fischer provided a way of understanding how the capacity to discern relationships in more abstract, inclusive, and intellectually insightful ways develops. With a deeper understanding of these developmental processes, educators will be better able to create experiences that support students in making connections and better able to assess their progress along the way. Student affairs personnel are often in an especially good position to assist students in building and rebuilding connections as they move toward more complex and effective ways of thinking. Student affairs personnel also have the advantage of hearing students' uncensored reactions to classes, to campus events and issues, and to interactions with friends, family, staff members, and professors and therefore have a deeper understanding of the way students understand their experiences. In addition, student affairs educators are often comfortable with dealing with students' feelings and emotional reactions, which is essential when the educational connection being made is between a student's feelings, thoughts, and behaviors--a connection that requires a different kind of support than attending to thoughts alone. For these reasons, the authors encourage college educators, faculty, and student affairs staff members to consider using skill theory to understand how students develop the capacity to build and rebuild connections within what they know about the world, how they come to know it, and their place in it. (Contains 11 notes and 7 resources.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A