Essay on The Theory Of Student Development Theory

1704 Words Dec 13th, 2016 7 Pages
Student developmental theories describe the experiences of students, the holistic development of students, and how their experiences affect their development in order to inform the theory-to-practice-to-theory loop. In order to demonstrate a firm understanding of theory, one must be able to apply theory to practice. Student development theory emerged from the fields of psychology and sociology as student affairs professionals noticed the need to understand the experiences of students half of the 20th century and how practices in higher education could facilitate their development (Patton, Renn, Guido, & Quaye, 2016). These roots generated general theories on human development, but did not directly speak to the experiences of students at institutions of higher education. Today, theorists generate theories to “‘describe, explain, predict, influence outcomes, assess practice, and generate new knowledge and research’ (Jones & Abes, 2011, p. 151)” (Patton et al., 2016, p. 6). In other words, contemporary theories inform practitioners on best practices to facilitate student development and enrich students’ experiences. In this paper I will apply four student development frameworks: white racial consciousness model, theory of social reproduction, involvement theory, and Kholberg’s theory of moral development. In order to adequately select and discuss these theories and approaches, I had to evaluate them.
Two frameworks have emerged that are cornerstones in theory evaluation:…

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