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The Dynamic Student Development Meta-Theory

A New Model for Student Success


Edited By Mark A. Frederick, Pietro A. Sasso and José Miguel Maldonado

The Dynamic Student Development Metatheodel (DSDM) is a meta-theory based on empirically based inferences drawn from a national survey entitled the University Learning Outcomes Assessment (UniLOA). The UniLOA’s current dataset consists of over 500,000 college student participants and has supported impressive findings that allow for the reconceptualization of long-held cultural artifacts and assumptions regarding the way students grow, learn, and develop (GLD) and how decision makers within postsecondary education have selected to engage the domains of student development measured by the UniLOA. This book champions a model of student success. The DSDM was developed from common factors identified in multiple theories and models within the areas of human and student development as well as empirically based theories and models of education. By first defining complementary elements within the theories and models then establishing accurate operational definitions, the planning and engagement of appropriate services, supports, interventions, and programs (SSIPs) and the active assessment of their outcomes can lead to a more effective response to current challenges faced by higher educators. As a metamodel, the DSDM reconceptualizes student success within higher education that is disruptive to the current accepted paradigm of student learning and engagement. This book is intended for faculty and staff interested in critical debate about issues in higher education and for deliberation by graduate students in college administration programs.

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Chapter Thirteen: The DSDM and Social Class (Will Barratt)


chapter 13

The DSDM and Social Class

Will Barratt

Using multiple analytical lenses is important with any topic, especially one as complex as the interactions between students and universities. Interactions that are designed to have a developmental, growth, and maturation impact adds another layer of analytical lenses. Which lenses are important? Are some lenses more important than others? Those are great questions. Diversity, in all forms, should always be one of our lenses. Gender, ethnicity, social class, religion, health, ability, and the many other types of diversity in common use are all important. Identity, whether attributed identity or self-identified, is often at the heart of diversity discussions. While engaged in a discussion of gender, or ethnicity, or social class, or religion, or any other identity it is easy to pay less regard to other identities. We are a single whole person and to isolate one of our identities helps and hurts.

Analytical Lenses

In this chapter I will employ the primary analytical tools, or lenses, or critical perspectives, of social class as a personal identity to help the reader understand student growth, learning, and development. Social class diversity, based on previous work (Barratt, 2012; Davis, 2012; Soria, 2015), is an important part of student lives. It is my intention to make connections between social class identity and other identities. For example, people in different social classes have different ideas about gender and different genders have different ideas about social class....

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