Supporting and Challenging Student Cognitions in the Classroom


  • Amy K Fisher University of Mississippi
  • Chris Simmons University of South Florida
  • Susan Allen University of Mississippi



cognitive development, experiential learning, Perry Scheme, supervision, mixed methods


This article reports results of a mixed methods exploration of the effects of reflective supervision on cognitive growth in undergraduate students. Students were enrolled in two sections of an introductory skills practice course containing an experiential exercise designed to enhance skill development. One group received supervision; the other did not. Pretest and posttest analyses of measures used to assess cognitive development showed no statistically significant gains for either group. However, the group receiving supervision made more gains, and analysis of qualitative data revealed evidence of cognitive growth for this group. The research supports further investigation of educational interventions that may promote cognitive development in undergraduate students in helping professions and allied health fields.

Author Biographies

Chris Simmons, University of South Florida

Instructor and MSW Program Chair

Susan Allen, University of Mississippi

Associate Professor and MSW Program Director

Department of Social Work