ERIC Identifier: ED400741
Publication Date: 1996-00-00
Author: Cove, Patrick G. - Love, Anne Goodsell
ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education Washington DC.| BBB32577 _ George
Washington Univ. Washington DC. Graduate School of Education and Human
Enhancing Student Learning: Intellectual, Social, and Emotional
Integration. ERIC Digest.
The need to focus on holistic learning--the integration of intellectual,
social, and emotional aspects of undergraduate student learning--has been voiced
periodically throughout the last half century (American Council of Education
1949; Boyer 1987; Brown 1972; Miller and Prince 1976; Williamson 1957), and
recent research on student experience and college impact has provided additional
fuel to these arguments (e.g., Astin 1984, 1993; Pascarella and Terenzini 1991;
Springer, Terenzini, Pascarella, and Nora 1995; Tinto 1993). The roles of
faculty and student affairs professionals have become so disparate that neither
focus on student learning to their fullest extent. Each focuses on a part of the
whole, but in so doing students' education becomes only the sum of its parts,
Furthermore, higher education has struggled for a long time with the
increasing fragmentation of the learning process, of disciplines and knowledge,
of the administrative structure, and of community. Strong cultural forces have
acted as barriers to efforts at reforming and transforming higher education, but
now forces within and out of higher education have gathered that are exerting
tremendous pressure on the entire enterprise. These include the growing body of
research linking intellectual, social, and emotional processes, a continuing
paradigm shift in the social sciences and education, the emergence of
disciplines that incorporate the impact of social processes and issues of affect
(e.g., Women's Studies; Pan-African Studies; Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual
Studies), continuing reform efforts (e.g., total quality management, general
education and core curriculum reemergence), and external pressures (e.g., the
accountability movement, mandated outcomes assessment, and financial cutbacks at
the state and federal level). The need for reform is clear.
WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP AMONG THE INTELLECTUAL, SOCIAL, AND EMOTIONAL ELEMENTS OF STUDENT LEARNING?
Traditional literature regarding college students'
intellectual, social, and emotional development is dominated by three underlying
assumptions: 1) student affairs professionals deal solely with social and
emotional development; 2) faculty deal solely with intellectual development; and
3) the ways to integrate intellectual, social and emotional development are by
linking in-class and out-of-class experiences and by linking student affairs
professionals and faculty. This report views the intellectual, social, and
emotional divide from a broader and more inclusive perspective which recognizes
that student learning can and should be integrated in additional ways.
A growing literature base reinforces the fact that cognitive (Throughout this
report we use three sets of interchangeable terms: cognitive and intellectual,
social and interpersonal, and emotional and affective.), social, and emotional
processes are inextricably linked. For example, recent theories of cognitive
development, especially Baxter Magolda (1992, 1995), Belenky, Clinchy,
Goldberger, and Tarule (1986), and Gilligan (1982), clearly acknowledge the role
played by social context and interpersonal relationships. It is also recognized
that learning is facilitated or hampered by emotions (Boekaerts 1993; Goleman
1995), that emotions drive learning and memory (Sylvester 1994), and that
depressed mood states are often correlated with decreased motivation in the
classroom (Peterson and Seligman 1984).
WHAT CAN INDIVIDUAL FACULTY AND STUDENT AFFAIRS PROFESSIONALS DO TO ENHANCE HOLISTIC LEARNING?
practices, especially teaching pedagogies that reflect the dominance of and
reliance on lecture as the sole method of classroom instruction, are clearly
under attack (Freire 1978; Giroux 1983; Schniedewind and Davidson 1987). In
their place have proliferated such interrelated philosophies, pedagogies, and
practices as liberation theory (Freire 1970; McClaren and Leonard 1993; Shor
1992), constructivist pedagogy (Brooks and Brooks 1993), adopting a critical
cultural perspective (Rhoads and Black 1995), and collaborative learning
(Bruffee 1987, 1993; Gabelnick, MacGregor, Matthews, and Smith 1990; Goodsell,
Maher, Tinto, Smith, and MacGregor 1992). These practices challenge the
traditional models of teaching and learning because they acknowledge, address,
and make use of social and emotional influences on learning. By changing the
nature of authority in learning experiences or by bringing the personal
experiences of students to bear on a topic, these practices hold tremendous
potential for reshaping individual practice and, in turn, higher education.
A basic premise of liberation theory is that society's cultural system
perpetuates power relationships and holds people (and groups) in place like an
invisible web (Freire 1970). Freire argued that the educational system must be
transformed through praxis, which is "reflection and action upon the world in
order to transform it" (Freire 1970, p. 36). Constructivist pedagogy is based on
the premise that teachers "must provide a learning environment where students
search for meaning, appreciate uncertainty, and inquire responsibly" (Jackson
1993, p. v). It recognizes that emphasis on performance and giving the right
answers results in little long-term recall, whereas a focus on learning results
in greater long-term understanding and ability to use the concepts and
information out of the classroom (Katz 1985). Constructivist pedagogy helps
students "to take responsibility for their own learning, to be autonomous
thinkers, to develop integrated understandings of concepts, and to pose--and
seek to answer--important questions" (Brooks and Brooks 1993, p. 13).
Similarly, adopting a critical cultural perspective recognizes the strength
and embeddedness of the current culture and subcultures (Rhoads and Black 1995).
This perspective requires that the underlying assumptions of our current system
of higher education be identified, analyzed, and changed if effective and
lasting change is to occur regarding student learning. Educators--both faculty
and student affairs professionals--must examine their assumptions and values, as
well as how they are put into practice.
Collaborative learning strategies enhance learning by actively incorporating
social and affective dynamics between students, and between students and
faculty. Such strategies are based on the idea that acquiring and creating
knowledge is an active social process which students need to practice; it is not
a process in which students are spectators, sitting passively in a lecture hall
(Bruffee 1984, 1993).
WHAT CAN INSTITUTIONS DO TO ENHANCE HOLISTIC LEARNING?
Implications for institutions moving toward developing an ethos
of holistic learning include providing visionary, persistent, and pervasive
leadership, promoting student involvement in learning, developing learning
communities, enhancing the educational climate of residence halls, and
intentionally influencing the socialization of faculty and student affairs
Persistent leadership is required because cultures themselves are quite
persistent (Kuh 1993a; Schein 1985), and pervasive leadership implies both that
the leadership of the institution must be seen as pervading the institution and
that multiple leaders supporting and pushing the transformation must come from
throughout the institution and its hierarchy. Methods to promote student
involvement include expanding the number of leadership roles on campus, creating
environments and situations where all students have opportunities to participate
and contribute, fostering and rewarding student-initiated opportunities, and
providing formal and informal awards for involvement (Kuh, Schuh, and Whitt
The development of learning communities requires collaboration between
traditional faculty and student affairs areas, and in doing so breaks down many
of the barriers to enhancing students' holistic learning. Students in learning
communities provide social, emotional, and intellectual support for each other's
learning, and learning communities are ideal places for faculty members to
implement collaborative learning strategies.
Institutions also must pay closer attention to the cultural socialization and
orientation of its members. Institutions can influence the socialization of
faculty and student affairs professionals through teaching assistant training
programs, student affairs graduate preparation programs, and on-going
professional staff training.
Baxter Magolda, Marcia B. 1992. "Knowing and
Reasoning in College: Gender-Related Patterns in Students' Intellectual
Development." San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Brooks, Jacqueline Grennon, and Martin G. Brooks. 1993. "In Search of
Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms." Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Bruffee, Kenneth. 1993. "Collaborative Learning: Higher Education,
Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge." Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins
Gabelnick, Faith, Jean MacGregor, Roberta S. Matthews, and Barbara Leigh
Smith. 1990. "Learning Communities: Creating Connections Among Students,
Faculty, and Disciplines." New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 41. San
Goleman, Daniel. 1995. "Emotional Intelligence." New York: Bantam Books.
Kuh, George D., John Schuh, Elizabeth J. Whitt, and Associates. 1991.
"Involving Colleges." San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Shor, Ira. 1992. "Empowering Education: Critical Teaching for Social Change."
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
This ERIC digest is based on a full-length report in the ASHE-ERIC Higher
Education Report series 95-4, Enhancing Student Learning: Intellectual, Social
and Emotional Integration by Patrick G. Love and Anne Goodsell Love.