ERIC Number: EJ868894
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 101
Principles of Development and Developmental Change Underlying Theories of Cognitive and Moral Development
King, Patricia M.
Journal of College Student Development, v50 n6 p597-620 Nov-Dec 2009
Development defined as increasingly complex and adaptive forms of seeing, knowing, and caring sheds light on how to identify aims of educational programs designed to foster development. Educators who aspire to promote development as well as content mastery help students understand the basis for their decisions, explore alternative bases and approaches, and consider the criteria used to compare the quality of alternative explanations. As Dewey argued in a chapter entitled, "Why Reflective Thinking Must Be an Educational Aim," such analysis "makes possible action with a conscious aim" (Dewey, 1933, p. 17). In this article, the author draws from three principles of this approach to illustrate the nature of cognitive and moral development: (a) individuals actively construct and organize their interpretations of experience; (b) there are discernible age-related patterns in the ways individuals organize their thinking; and (c) development occurs in context, in interaction with one's environment, and thus is highly variable from individual to individual. These principles provide an important shared foundation that spans many theories of college student development, including major theories of cognitive and moral development, and provides an organizing framework for this article. The author introduces these foundational concepts and principles, shows how these are reflected in several major developmental theories, examines issues of sequentiality and variability, and concludes with a discussion of developmental linkages between cognitive and moral development.
Descriptors: Student Development, Moral Development, Cognitive Development, Reflection, Educational Psychology, Values Clarification, Outcomes of Education, Individual Differences, Context Effect, Epistemology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A