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William Perry Research Paper

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PERRY.The theory is a classic model for intellectual development in college students. The theory was first developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The theory discusses three stages: dualism, multiplicity, and relativism. William Perry’s theory is based on his studies of the cognitive and ethical development in undergraduate students. He believes that college students go through four stages of mental and moral develop. The four states are dualism, multiplicity, relativism, and lastly commitment. These four stages are then further divided into nine positions. Perry's theory is especially useful because he details not only specific stages but how people arrive and change to get to each stage. The first stage that is typically discussed for…show more content…
Take a look at the figure below, which illustrates the impact of imbalance. Too much support (A), and the student will never really learn what they need to grow and develop…too much challenge (B), and the student will become frustrated and possibly quit trying. A third factor of this model that Sanford added in 1966 is the element of readiness. Simply put, an individual cannot grow until they are physically or psychologically ready to grow. For example, introducing quantum physics to a third grader is probably not a great idea…he/she is simply not ready for it (if they are, I’m sure our admission’s office would like to meet them!). How does all of this relate to the real world? The college experience is one of the greatest periods of growth in a young person’s life. For that growth to occur, each of our students need to be challenged (and supported) appropriately through a variety of experiences, both inside and out of the classroom. Some of these experiences may be unpleasant, like a failing grade in a class. Challenge and support does not imply that the student will never experience failure or negative consequences, but what it does imply is that when
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