©2000 NewFoundations

The Educational Theory of David C. McClelland
Analyst: Dolores Fidishun

edited 8/18/11

Theory of Value: Critical thinking and conceptual skills, Mature adaptation, independence of thought, instrumentality and self-definition NCLA, P. 177-178, social and moral maturity, EFV, p. 209 adaptive conceptual and reasoning skills, NCLA, p. 84

Theory of Knowledge: Decision making, EFV, p. 208 non-academic types of competence, MPS, p. 17 non-academic talent ... of much value, MPS, p. 18 nonverbal and non-academic talent, MPS, p. 7

Theory of Human Nature: three types of variables at least are necessary for the adequate study of the person-namely the schema or values variable .... the habit or trait variable.... and the motive variable MPS, p. 16, fostering or developing non-academic talent, particularly character, MPSp. 18, individual starts out as dependent on his or her parents, then moves to self-control and self-assertion, and finally goes beyond the self to serve a higher interest as in being a good parent or in serving an institution, MPS, p. 27 The practice of meditation, either in the Christian or Eastern traditions, seems designed to move the person beyond the self-oriented stages to some higher, deeper or broader conception of the nonself. MPS, p. 27

Theory of I-earning: Education that encourages participation in decision making by students is more likely to promote moral and social maturity. EFV~ p.210 students actively participate in resolving. dilemmas, EFV, p.209, encouraging to make choices, 208

Theory of Transmission: Formal teachings and informal experiences combine to shape the way an individual member of the culture sees the world. DSM, p. 7 Many if not most Americans look either consciously or unconsciously to the media for guidance as to what to believe and how to act. EFV, p. 205 Educators- teachers or parents - who believe in or otherwise show they care for students, EFV, p. 209 Religions or cultures, EFV, p. 205

Theory of Society: -Society is culture, community, religion, media EFV, p. 205-207, Pacifist, MPS, p. 4 practical attempts to better the human condition, MPS, p. 4 logical application of the Christian message, which was a gospel of love, not violence and mass killing, MPS, p.4 Religions or cultures, EFV, p. 205 stresses individual initiative and other directedness or participatory democracy. DSM, p. 16 Greater involvement in education, particularly in discussing and resolving moral issues, promotes moral and social maturity. EFV, p. 207

Theory of Opportunity: if colleges were interested in proving that they could educate people, high-scoring students would be poor bets because they would be less likely to show improvement in performance., MPS, p. 242 non-academic talent... of much value, MPS, p. 18 lower socioeconomic status ... middle class and smaller families ... lower classes in industrialized societies or from nonindustrialized societies. DSM, p.11 concept of testing for competence not intelligence, MPS, p.246-247

Theory of Consensus: Truth can never be arrived at by reasoning alone, MPS, p.3 we would get further faster if men with different disciplinary orientations collaborated, MPS, p. 19 Empathizing, recognizing one's own assumptions, seeing all sides of an issue, NCZA, p. 13 Exercising self-control for the sake of broader loyalties, NCLA. p. 13


McClelland, David C., ed. (1982). The Development of Social Maturity. - New York: Irvington Publishers. DSM

McClelland, David C. 2 ed. (1982). Education for Values. New York: Irvington Publishers. EW

McClelland, David C. (1984). Motives, Personality and Society: Selected Papers. New York: Praeger. MPS

Winter, David G., McClelland, David C. and Stewart, Abigail J. (1981). A New Case for the Liberal Arts: Assessing Institutional Goals and Student Development . San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. NCLA