Web site logical path: [www.psy.gla.ac.uk] [~steve] [courses] [CERE] [Perry Diagram1] [Perry Diagram2] [Perry Diagram3]

Aspects of a learner's views at 5 different points on the Perry spectrum

Student in Unknowable position Student in position A Student in subjectivist position(B) Student in proc position Student in constructivist position(C)
Student Role React to demands Passive acceptor Realises that some responsibility rests with the student. But what? And how? Follow rules Sees student as source of knowledge or is confident of finding it. Debater, making own decisions. Wants to explore contexts; seeks interconnections.
Lecturer's Role Make arbitrary demands Authority, giving facts and know-how Authority, where there are controversies, wants guidance as to which the lecturer favours. Supply material, and support increasing skill at the rule of argument. One authority among others. Values views of peers. Teacher as facilitator or gateway.
View of knowledge Not possible to know things Factual; black and white; clear objectives; non-controversial; exceptions unwelcome. Admits 'black-and-white' approach not always appropriate. Sees no way to choose between alternative views. Feels insecure with these uncertainties. A matter of competing views or theories, with different supports. Evidence, not just conclusions, an important part of knowledge. Enjoys creativity, scholarly work. Enjoys creativity, and employing procedures for own original ends.
View of exams Meaningless torture Regurgitation of 'facts'. Exams are objective. Hard work will be rewarded. Quantity is more important than quality in demonstrating maximum knowledge. Demonstrate ability to produce reasoned arguments (though only to questions that do not challenge paradigm) Quality is more important than quantity. Wants room to express own ideas, views.
Student confidence depends upon: Being told what to do The teacher Little confidence, high uncertainty. Mainly self; although also important to be part of a community following the same (CT) rules The student her/himself