This blog is a learning experience for graduate students enrolled in College Student Development Theory at the University of Utah for Fall 2010. Each student will share their insight into foundational and contemporary theories as well as how these theories are applied in higher education. The goal of this site is to increase understanding and generate dialogue.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Baxter Magolda’s Theory of Self Authorship Written by Anita Kiteau
Overview of Theory
Marcia Baxter Magolda began her study of this theory when she identified an important gap of gender in the existing work of Perry and Belenky. She saw the need to address gender in the study and to involve both men and women together. Magolda originally began her study in 1992 on the epistemological development of 101 MiamiUniversity students. She conducted an exclusive study on epistemological development and her work evolved over the last twenty years with an in-depth study of thirty nine students out of the 101 original participants.
Baxter Magolda identified three dimensions which answer the three simple questions that the individual questions during his or her journey toward self-authorship. These questions are: how do I know, who am I, and how do I want to construct relationships with others. The three dimensions of self-authorship are: a) epistemological which assists the individual to answer the “how do I know” part, b) intrapersonal where the individual finds answer to the question of “who am I” and lastly c) interpersonal, the individual comes to a strong sense of self and is able to master the “how do I want to construct relationships with others.” These dimensions are intertwined according to the experiences of the individual.
The Intersection of all circles is "Inner Voice"
There are four phases of self-authorship discovered by Baxter Magolda.These are following formulas, crossroads, becoming the author of one’s life, and internal foundation. These phases are not linear however fundamentally, when the individual becomes the author of self, he or she is moving away from following external formulas to developing their inner voices and makes meaning of life based on their internal foundation. She concluded that participants were not identified as reaching self-authorship, however they left college with an initial awareness of self-authorship and continue to make meaning in their lives as they develop their inner voices. Baxter Magolda later introduced the Learning Partnership Model (LPM) with Patricia King to foster self-authorship development. The LPM creates environments between individuals and authorities that effectively promote self-authorship.
Use in Higher Education
Baxter Magolda argued that self authorship needs to be the basis for advance learning outcomes in college in order to effectively prepare students for this century. Self-authorship is being applied in college through interaction among students and educators and includes giving constructive instruction that allow for self reflection, clear interpretations of self beliefs, and active involvement in meaningful activities. Student Affairs develop self-authorship within resident halls, academic advising, career advising and professional student affairs staff. Self-authorship is critically reflected on the diverse population of students and their different experiences.
Annotated Bibliography Entry
Walczak, K.K. (2008). Utilizing self-authorship to understand the college admission process. Journal of College Admission, (198), 31-35
The author draws from the student development theories of self-authorship and orders of consciousness to understand first year, traditional-aged college students. This includes how they understand entry into college through the admission process before they actually develop self-authorship in college. The author examines the development of students as they approach the admission process in the following stages: following external formulas/durable categories, the crossroads/cross-categorical thinking and becoming author of own life/self-authorship. Students do not have a viewpoint of self at first and rely upon others such as authorities (parents and admissions personnel) to tell them exactly what to do. Secondly, students begin to constructively make sense of differences and build their own viewpoints but still do not understand how others’ views influence theirs. Lastly, students are able to separate their viewpoints from others and act upon their own ideas and beliefs. The study concludes with implications that admission counselors and authorities should facilitate the developmental transition of where a student is and where college personnel expect them to be.
Magolda, M.B. (2004). Making their own way. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
Magolda, M.B. (2010). The interweaving of epistemological, intrapersonal, and interpersonal development in the evolution of self-authorship. In M.B. Magolda, E.F. Creamer and P.S. Meszaros (Eds.), Development and Assessment of Self-Authorship (pp. 25-43). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., Guido, F., Patton, L.D., & Renn, K.A. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Walczak, K.K. (2008). Utilizing self-authorship to understand the college admission process. Journal of College Admission, (198), 31-35.