Wholistic Development: A Survey of the Core Affective Dimensions of the Whole Person as Defined by College Educators and Business Professionals in the Southeastern Region of the United States of America Open Access
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Abstract of DissertationWholistic Development: A Survey of the Core Affective Dimensions of the Whole Person as Defined by College Educators and Business Professionals in the Southeastern Region of the United States of America A central theme of the literature review for this research study was that business professionals desire more than specific knowledge and intellect as they seek employees for the future (Collins, 2001; Gardner, 1990; Hersh, 1999, Winter; and Evers, Rush, and Berdrow, 1998). Thus, the purpose of this work was to identify the core affective dimensions of the whole person that should be goals or learning outcomes at four-year colleges and universities as perceived by those who conceptualize whole person goals and learning outcomes in colleges and universities (college educators) and the end users (business professionals) of the graduates of America's colleges and universities. The conceptual lens and sub-flooring for this study was Chickering's Theory of Psychosocial Development (1969) where the discovery of one's personal identity was established as the anchor point for lifetime choices. Bowen's (1977) follow on work established that whole person goals and learning "outcomes are numerous, complexly related, often subtle, sometimes untended...." (1977, p. 22). He compiled a Taxonomy of Goals that proved invaluable in this research and the selection of 14 whole person dimensions for examination as goals or learning outcomes at four-year colleges and universities. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through the use of a mailed survey questionnaire sent to a purposeful sample of college educators and business professionals. The findings identified character, judgment, and moral reasoning as the core affective dimensions of the whole person that should be considered imperatives as goals or learning outcomes at four-year colleges and universities. In addition to the conclusions, this study includes recommendations for implementation and future research. These recommendations encourage educational planners to seek deliberate and purposeful opportunities to include the core whole person dimensions and other important whole person dimensions, as time and resources permit, in curricular and co-curricular baccalaureate degree-seeking programs.