Social Identity, Psychosocial And Cognitive Structural Development

1969 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 8 Pages
The college years are a time of important growth and change for students because they gain new ideas and experiences that could change what they already know and believe. No doubt, significant changes occur during the college years. Rodgers (1990c), defined student development as “the ways that a student grows, progresses, or increases his or her developmental capabilities as a result of enrollment in an institution of higher education” (p. 27; as cited in Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton, Renn, 2010, p. 6). Student development occurs “when students are faced with new challenges in their lives, a response or way to cope with the situation must emerge” (Sanford, 1966; as cited in Gardner, 2009, p. 15).
Many theorists classify development into three categories: social identity, psychosocial and cognitive-structural development. Cognitive-structural theories “examine how people think and make meaning out of their experiences” (Evans, 2011,p. 175). Psychosocial development is defined as “issues that individuals face as they mature psychologically and experience contextual challenges that trigger dissonance, including life directions, and establishing belief systems” (Evans, 2011, p. 169). Social identity focuses on “how individuals and groups make meaning of the world they occupy is vital to understanding social identity, making social constructivism a worldview and method appropriate to topics...” (Evans et al., 2010, p. 235).
To investigate how student development in college…

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