Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Joyce Van Tassel-Baska


Developmental styles and strategies (DSS) are preferences and repeated patterns in intentional self-development. A taxonomy of DSS based on the convergence of talent development and Sternberg's Triarchic Model of Intelligences was proposed to distinguish school learners, street learners, talent developers (specialists), and all-knowers (generalists). This study explored the reliability of the researcher-developed Educational Developmental Style and Strategy Scale, the relationships of age, gender, birth order, ethnicity, and SES to developmental DSS adoption, and the characteristics of five types of DSS adopters (i.e., street learning specialists, street learning generalists, school learning specialists, school learning generalists, the neutral group). Eighty out of 160 students at a governor's school for science and technology completed the survey.;The major findings were the following. (1) The reliability coefficient for the Specialist-Generalist Subscale (SGS) was .79, and that for the Street Learning-School Learning Subscale (SLSLS) was .76. (2) There were no statistically significant differences among the five types of DSS adopters in age, gender, ethnicity, number of siblings, birth order, and parental education. (3) There were no statistically significant differences across five groups in most measures in the questionnaire. The five groups did not differ significantly in books at home and amount of reading, strengths during childhood, Holland personality types, educational aspirations, developmental ideals and parental expectations, contributors to educational growth, contributors to strength development, source of influence on students' development, amount of time spent on activities weekly, taking private lessons, parents' ability to give good advice on students' development, parents' knowledge in students' areas of interest, the freedom to make decisions on one's own development, having different values from peers, have interests different from peers, not following the crowd, grade-orientation, importance of schooling, diversification strategy, opportunity-orientation, spending efforts on the nearest goal, basing their career choices on their missions rather than on competences and interests, having private projects, considering school as an extra burden, ability to learn on one's own, and having highly developed talents.;There were some significant differences found in some areas. Generalists had more books at home than specialists had. Generalists were more likely to have military, political, and sports books. School learners were more likely to have science books and less likely to have social science books. School learners' mean school rank in percentile was significantly higher than that of street learners. School learning generalists were different from street learning generalists and school learning specialists in perceiving whether their interests were shared by their classmates.



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