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Learners and Learning: Cognitive, Moral,
and Emotional Development of Students

Cognitive Development
Moral Development
Emotional Development

The college years are a time of significant growth and change for students as they confront new ideas and experiences that may challenge what they already know and believe. Faculty members who understand these changes can design courses and activities that meet studentsí needs and support their continued development. The links below present theories, research, and information on studentsí cognitive, moral, and emotional development in college. They are divided into four categories: Cognitive Development; Moral Development; Cognitive and Moral Development and Diversity; and Emotional Development.

Cognitive Development:

Perry Network and Center for the Study of Intellectual Development, William S. Moore,Coordinator.
This is a website dedicated to Perry's Model of intellectual development, its assessment and research support. Click on "Overview of Perry Scheme" for a complete description of Perry's model of cognitive and affective growth during the college years.

Summary of Women's Ways of Knowing, Belenky et al. Basic Books 1986 (Ferris State University, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development).
A concise summary of the five stages of knowing from Belenky et al.'s book.

"Models of Cognitive Development: Piaget and Perry," Chapter 14 from Teaching Engineering, Phillip C. Wankat and Frank S. Oreovicz, McGraw-Hill, 1993.
This book chapter provides in depth descriptions of Piaget's and Perry's theories of cognitive development. The authors also include the contributions of Belenky, et al (1986) to a better understanding of different methods of knowing than those postulated by Piaget and Perry. Implications for Engineering Education could apply to many disciplines in higher education. The chapter concludes with activities and teaching methods that encourage cognitive growth.
Link: hE/News_and_Events/Publications/teaching_engineering/chapter14.pdf

Reflective Judgement, Patricia M. King (University of Michigan).
A website dedicated to the Reflective Judgement Model that describes the "development of reasoning from adolescence to adulthood." Contains a description of the model, instruments for assessing RJ, research, educational implications, and references.

"Strengthening Practice with Theory," Martha E. Casazza (National Louis University). From the Journal of Developmental Education, Vol 22, No 2, Winter 1998.
Using case studies of three college students, this article examines several theories of cognitive development and different ways of understanding what knowledge is. These theories are applied to the case studies and used to develop a framework for understanding cognitive growth.

"Fostering Cognitive Development in College Students"The Perry and Toulmin Models,” Dennis J. Battaglini and Randolph J. Schenkat. ERIC Digest, ED284272, 1987.
Compares two theories of cognitive growth and their classroom implications.

Moral Development:

"Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development," W.C. Crain. Chapter Seven from Theories of Development, Prentice-Hall, 1985.
Summarizes Kohlberg's work on moral development.

"Fostering Students' Moral Development," Lion F. Gardiner (Rutgers University). From Essays on Teaching Excellence, 1999-2000, a publication of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education.
Based on the work of Lawrence Kohlberg and more recent research by J.R. Rest et al, Gardiner explores the impact college teachers can have on students' moral reasoning and suggests methods for fostering students’ moral judgment.

Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice, Chuck Huff (St. Olaf College).
Provides a summary of Gilligan's theory of stages of moral development for women and comparison to both Piaget and Kohlberg.

Cognitive and Moral Development and Diversity:

"Encountering Diversity on Campus and in the Classroom: Advancing Intellectual and Ethical Development," Lee Knefelkamp and Timothy David-Lang (Teachers College, Columbia University). Diversity Digest, Spring/Summer 2000.
This article presents evidence that students' levels of cognitive development influence their encounters with diversity in college courses and on campus. In designing diversity courses, faculty should be aware that students might not be intellectually and psychologically ready for this learning experience and sequence these encounters to enhance reflection and cognitive growth.

"Higher Education and Reducing Prejudice: Research on Cognitive Capabilities Underlying Tolerance," Victoria L. Guthrie (Ohio University), Patricia M. King and Carolyn J. Palmer (Bowling Green University). Diversity Digest, Spring/Summer 2000.
The authors explore the relationship between tolerance for diversity and intellectual level. They review research in this area and describe their own research using the Reflective Judgment Model, offering evidence that tolerance is related to a student's level of intellectual development and reflective judgment.

"New Arguments for Diversifying the Curriculum: Advancing Students' Cognitive Development,"Hans Herbert Kogler (University of North Florida). In Diversity Digest, Summer 1999.
Argues that multicultural education advances students' cognitive capabilities as well as enhancing their moral and social development.

"Charting Cognitive and Moral Development in Diversity Classes," Maurianne Adams (University of Massachusetts, Amherst). Diversity Digest, Fall/Winter 2002.
Describes research conducted in the author's undergraduate course on social diversity and social justice in which students demonstrated growth toward multiplistic thinking by the end of the course.

"Diversity and Higher Education: Theory and Impact on Educational Outcomes," Patricia Gurin, Eric L. Dey, Sylvia Hurtado, Gerald Gurin (University of Michigan). Harvard Educational Review, Vol.72, No. 3, Fall 2002.
Reviews the theoretical foundations and educational research that demonstrate the positive effect of a diverse student population on students’ cognitive and social growth.

Emotional Development:

Emotional Intelligence (Funderstanding).
Summarizes Daniel Goleman's theory of emotional intelligence, its relationship to learning, and its impact on a person’s life.

Emotional Intelligence Information, John D. Mayer.
A site devoted to "communicating scientific information about emotional intelligence." Defines and describes it, offers articles, EI assessment measures, and other resources.