Cognitive Development

By Galicia Blackman 

The more we know about how our students think about knowledge (what it is and who has it), the better equipped we are to help them learn, to recognize where and why they struggle, and to identify ways of helping them move through struggle toward greater understanding.  This is the fundamental idea of the research on students' cognitive development.

This guide is grounded in the foundational work of educational psychologist William Perry, whose research helped us understand that adult learners move through different stages of learning, largely revolving around how they understand knowledge.  

The guide also introduces subsequent branches of research that built on his work.  

Finally, it includes a list of resources illustrating Perry's ideas within different disciplines.

Download the guide below, or click the image to the right.




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