Baxter Magolda’s Model of of Epistemological Reflection
About the Author
Printable Summary (PDF)
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Stages, Levels, Phases, and Components of the Theory
Stages, Levels, Phases, and Components of the Theory:
- Longitudinal study produced a stage model of an individual’s knowledge of life, limits, and conviction of knowledge
- Identified six assumptions of the model:
- Ways of knowing are socialized
- Ways of knowing can be questioned without manipulation
- Patterns of reasoning are flexible
- Stories are situational
- Ways of knowing are experience based and not generalized by storyteller
- Four stages
- Stage 1: Absolute Knowing
- Knowledge is unchanging. Authorities, such as professors, are seen to have absolute knowledge
- Patterns of receiving knowledge and mastering knowledge can be found in this stage
- Stage 2: Transitional Knowing
- Coming to terms with the uncertainty of reality and authorities are not all knowing.
- Patterns of interpersonal knowing and impersonal knowingare present in this stage
- Stage 3: Independent Knowing
- An individual assumes all knowledge is uncertain and embraces opportunity to exploration of knowledge
- Patters of interindividual and individual are present in this stage
- Stage 4: Contextual Knowing
- An individual constructs knowledge, but the knowledge is backed up by evidence
Application of Theory to Practice
This section is designed to provide student affairs professionals, staff, and faculty members with tips and tools to apply theory to practice.
Annotations of Associated Literature
Annotations listed below are associated with the author’s original work to provided a more in-depth look at the theory.
Baxter Magolda, M.B. (1992). Knowing and reasoning in college: Gender- related patterns in students’ intellectual development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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