Measuring cognitive growth in engineering undergraduates: A longitudinal study

John Wise, Ha Sang Lee, Thomas A. Litzinger, Rose M. Marra, Betsy Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper builds on previously reported findings 1,2 by describing the completion of a four-year longitudinal investigation into the cognitive development of engineering undergraduates as measured using the Perry Scheme of Intellectual Development. Fifty-four students were randomly selected during their first year and invited to participate in three hour-long interview sessions. During the interview, each student reflected on his or her view of knowledge, education, and learning. The interviews were transcribed and sent to a rater experienced in assigning positions relative to the Perry Scheme based on student responses to these types of questions. While it was hoped that students would progress from simple dualistic views (position 1 / 2) through complex dualism (position 3) and relativism (4 / 5) to commitment in relativism (position 6+), most students in this sample did not make it beyond position four. This paper will review the findings with an eye towards curricular activities that may or may not encourage this type of growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7015-7022
Number of pages8
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Event2001 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Peppers, Papers, Pueblos and Professors - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2001Jun 27 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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