Holistic Development, Learning, and Performance in College and Beyond

Glen Rogers, Judith Reisetter Hart and Marcia Mentkowski

in The Oxford Handbook of Reciprocal Adult Development and Learning

Second edition

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736300
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Holistic Development, Learning, and Performance in College and Beyond

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  • Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology



We describe an adult holistic developmental factor that underlies individual differences on measures derived from the theories of Jane Loevinger, Lawrence Kohlberg, Carol Gilligan, and William Perry. Drawing on these theories, we propose features of a structural developmental construct of moral self that can account for the observed empirical distinction between holistic and cognitive development. Based on a further review of the empirical relationship between adult holistic development and multidimensional performance, we conclude that mutuality in interactions with others, openness to experience, and creativity are developmental learning processes that are self-reinforcing. Likewise, breadth of learning and activities promote adult holistic development. We frame our review of research and theory with our educational metatheory of domains of growth in the person. By describing how we have developed this metatheory and have used it to represent college outcomes, we clarify its dialectical location and broach the need for and limits of pluralism.

Keywords: holistic development; cognitive development; higher education; moral self; ego development; moral development; workplace; terror management; performance

Article.  25841 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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