Educ 662: Learning and Development in Higher Education



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EDUC 662: Learning and Development in Higher Education

Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Michigan

Fall 2014
Dr. Patricia M. King, Professor Class Time: Tuesdays, 1-4 PM

2108A School of Education Building Room: 2334SEB

734-615-6740, patking@umich.edu Office Hours: Appointments will be cheerfully arranged, typically on Wednesdays and Thursdays; please contact

me by email to schedule an appointment.


The key to a vital life is an eagerness to learn and a willingness to change.

M.A. Radmacher-Hershey (1994)
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud

was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anaïs Nin

This course examines patterns of intellectual, identity, and social development among older adolescents and adults, and how these relate to learning and development of desired outcomes of postsecondary education. It is designed to introduce graduate students to major theoretical perspectives, the research based on these theories, and how this body of theory and research can be used to guide the design of educational policies and practices in colleges and universities to promote college student learning and development.


Note: In this class, student characteristics are in the foreground and environmental characteristics are in the background; in the companion course, ED603, Organizing for Learning, this focus is reversed.

Course Objectives for Student Learning
1. To be able to identify and describe one’s own underlying assumptions about the nature of college student learning and development, to translate and articulate assumptions as appropriate using theory and research on student learning outcomes, and to demonstrate your understanding of the role of guiding assumptions in theory development and validation.
2. To be able to accurately describe the major dimensions of theories of the learning and development of college students in the cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal domains, and how these theories have been used to guide research and educational practice, and to critique these theories.
3. To be able to describe how patterns of development and educational experiences differ among various subgroups of college students, especially groups of students who differ by age, social identities (e.g., race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation), and the personal capacities that affect how they interpret experiences; to offer your critique of these patterns.
4. To be able to analyze connections across major aspects of development, to illustrate how these changing attributes are interrelated within the developing person, and to explain how educational interventions can be designed that take these interrelationships into account.
5. To be able to analyze the structure and organization of curricular and co-curricular educational environments in terms of their match (or mismatch) for promoting college student learning and development, and to be able to suggest ways to do so that are aligned with theory and research of college students development.
Course Texts

All assigned readings for this class will be available on our class C-Tools site.


I recommend the following books as helpful resources for this class, and as good additions to your professional library.
Evans, N. J., Forney, D S., Guido, F. M., Patton, L. D., & Renn, K. A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

This book provides a thorough overview of major student development theories, with sections on theory, assessment, research, and application to practice for each major theoretical perspective.


Baxter Magolda, M. B. (2000). (Ed.), Teaching to promote intellectual and personal maturity: Incorporating students’ worldviews and identities into the learning process. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 82. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

The purpose of this sourcebook is to introduce faculty to major theories of student development and how an understanding of the concepts and findings from this literature can be used to enhance their interactions with college students.


Jones, S. R. & Abes, E.S. (2013). Identity development of college students: Advancing frameworks for multiple dimensions of identity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

This book provides a new and integrated way of thinking about identity development. It serves to further our theoretical understanding of college students and their development.


Love, P. G. & Guthrie, V. L. (1999) (Eds.). Understanding and applying cognitive development theory. New Directions for Student Services, no. 88, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

This sourcebook provides an overview of major models of theories of cognitive development that are applicable to college students, along with insights about the relationships among perspectives and their application to educational practice.


NOTE: Many “New Directions” sourcebooks are available free of charge through the UM library. If you do a “Journal/Serial Name begins with” search in Mirlyn for New Directions for Teaching and Learning, New Directions for Student Services, etc. you'll find the links to the online versions in the entries that come up in Mirlyn. Try using Wiley Interscience (refer to the specific issue number for that title), WilsonSelectPlus, or a comparable resource.
Wilson, M. E. & Wolf-Wendel, L. E. (2010). (Eds.). ASHE reader on college student development theory. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.

This edited volume provides carefully selected groups of published articles and book chapters that introduce readers to student development theory, research, and practice.


APA Publication Manual

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


As with most professional discourse communities, there are certain writing practices that are followed by higher education scholars, and many of these are described (complete with the rationale) in the APA Publication Manual. Accordingly, it is my expectation that all work submitted for this class adhere to the style and formatting guidelines of this manual (6th ed.) NOTE: The APA Manual includes much more than simple referencing style; it also reflects sets of academic values and practices. For example, in addition to reference citations (both in the text and the reference list), this volume also includes instructions on page numbering, grammatical considerations, how to avoid the use of sexist language and how to construct charts and tables. If you haven’t already done so, I strongly encourage you to browse through this volume to familiarize yourself with the range of topics it addresses so you’ll be better able to use this as a resource in your own writing.



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