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Developing Reflective Judgment

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago

King, P. M. and Kitchener, K. S. Developing Reflective Judgment. San Francisco:

Jossey-Bass, 1994.

The authors identify, in the preface, the intended audience of this book as teachers, practitioners and clinicians, and educational administrators. The authors state that their work is largely meant as a reference compendium rather than a “how-to” manual for increasing reflective judgment among students. They largely draw off of the reflective judgment model given by Perry (1970).


The book begins by identifying the idea of ‘reflective judgment’ (following the writings of Dewey) as a process of problem solving and reasoning which, unlike mathematics or even playing chess, demands more than simple logic or rule/formula applications. It emerges when there is a real problem in need of resolution and often involves applying judgments without an adequate data base of facts; reflective judgments are supposed to be open and under continual scrutiny and evaluation. It is closely involved with critical thinking, though arguably reflective judgment is more complex at times.


The book has five discernable parts to it: Chapters I-III of this book are organized along the themes of identifying reflective judgment, especially as it “describes the development of epistemological cognition” (p. 13). Chapter II introduces a study of the various models of cognitive development, and Chapter III elaborates on the seven stages of reflective judgment. Chapters IV and V are concerned with assessments of reasoning skills and of reflective judgment, respectively. The former also includes models and techniques of reasoning skills, and the latter contains various uses and techniques of reflective judgment. Chapter VI presents a sizeable chunk of research on reflective judgment and the reflective judgment models. This is, arguably, the key part of the book and is along the lines of the books intended purpose (see the first paragraph of this annotation). Chapters VII and VIII delve into how reflective judgment relates to, respectively, intellectual development and character development. Under the latter heading is the idea of moral development; the two concepts have “different but related domains” (p. 207). Also included is how reflective judgment fits in with a person’s psychological development. Finally, Chapter IX deals with a few suggestions for fostering reflective judgment in college atmospheres and ideas for its promotion.

Overall, I believe the book would be helpful to anyone starting out in researching this aspect of educational theory. However, someone looking for teaching advice and a prescriptive work might be let down; this is not a primer or a book of suggestions for teaching methods. However, if one knows of reflective judgment prior to reading, it can only deepen the understanding.


Added by Ed DuBois - 4/7/2008

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