Talk:William G. Perry

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Editors, I recognize the need for Wikipedia to have quality articles. I also recognize the need for the notability requirement; without it Wikipedia would be burdened with information about the lives of common people that can provide little benefit to readers. It would be better for that material to stay at MySpace or other such sites.

I do have an issue that is worth discussion, however. It seems that editors can be very quick to tag a biography for deletion and some of those biographies are of notable people. The problem is that the people who have the knowledge to improve those articles are often older and, to them, Wikipedia may seem like a "flash in the pan." Wikipedia is so new that many of the people who could contribute, haven't figured out how to contribute, yet. If these articles get quickly deleted it may take quite a while before someone knowledgeable about the subject (person of interest)comes along and is able to initiate a biography page and then have other people provide the additional information and editing to demonstrate that the person is notable. It would be a shame to effectively shut out the knowledge of people who have not fully entered the Web 2.0 era - we need them and their knowledge also.

Anyway, I don't know if I made my point but as an college instructor I can vouch for the notability of William G. Perry. His work has been mentioned on my college campus several times in the five years that I have been here. Last week I received a handout outlining Perry's theories from the administrator who oversees my department. A brief Google search shows that information about him is posted on Harvard University's newspaper website ( and one of Berkley's web sites ( Unfortunately I do not have the time or the experience to make significant improvements to the article myself. At least not at this time. I am just hoping that for biographies about people who may be best known by the older generations more time will be allowed to elapse before the article is deleted.

If anyone wants to copy and/or move my comments to a more appropriate location, please feel free to do so. Thanks Dbrouse

This author is mentioned in almost every developmental psychology textbook. His work will, with a simple Google scholar search, prove that he is very highly cited. I personally am not in this field, but have seen this work mentioned in a Higher Education program for Resident Advisors, hardly specialists in developmental psychology. Please keep this article until such time as someone who knows adds, or flag as a stub to get people to expand its content. Thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:13, 21 February 2007 (UTC).
William G. Perry is indeed an eminently notable psychologist of the developmental constructivist ilk. He follows on after Piaget doing seminal work with college age young adults. Kegan follows on after him with the development during adult years. Stupid, knee-jerkism where Wikipedia's standards are concerned lowers the value of the product of the Wikipedia community. Those who know nothing about the subject of an article should keep their editing pens to themselves... I came looking for him and found the STUPID threat of deletion. As you can see, I get riled when the values of Wikipedia are threatened by Wikipedians themselves. Makes me want to give up on you all. I'll see if I can find time to re-work the article, Perry's books in hand. All the best, Emyth 12:13, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for "Piling On" and helping me make my point. Emyth, I have been upset in the past when a biography I tried to start got deleted. So I can appreciate your point of view. On the other hand at some time an article has to become an actual article. The people who are using the deletion templates on articles such as this are also demonstrating the values of Wikipedia - quality articles. Hopefully we can get someone to come along who knows enough about William G. Perry to improve the article to Wikipedia standards. My main puprose was to see if we could buy some more time to have this happen. Thanks again for contributing to the discussion. Dbrouse 06:01, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe this is certainly a biographical article on a person of note, and I'm glad that some were bold enough to begin this process. I'd be glad to come in and tweak when time and materials afford me the opportunity. A side note: There is not currently an entry for Arthur Chickering either; I noticed the conspicuous absence of that article and, at the time, this one when editing Student Development Theory. Littledrummrboy 20:52, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

There is a link to a document by Perry in the "Bullshit" wikipedia entry:

Perry, William G. (1967). Examsmanship and the Liberal Arts. Originally published in Harvard College: A Collection of Essays by Members of the Harvard Faculty.

I found it very interesting. Is it genuinely his?(please excuse my scepticism) If so, it should/could be placed in the Further Reading section of this biography. AlbertoFlorentin 22:12, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

He is cited by Noel Entwhistle, Dennis Fox and most of the current constructivist and experiential learning movements. His 9 level classification aligns to the taxonomy of Biggs and an article on the taxonomy would be useful to add to the biographical article as it is still significant in theories of teaching and student learning. The current annotation about references also seems a little harsh as his most significant work is cited and Education is a field where a lot of work is in books rather than in peer reviewed journals. (Ardalby (talk) 19:21, 20 April 2008 (UTC)) After a bit more research I think that Perry's work might actually be one of the most important contributions to the field of Epistemology ever made. I think that his significance is currently under-estimated. His 9-level epistemology is particularly powerful, not only in the field of education but also in research as well. It is perhaps the clearest presentation of an epistemology I have ever read but also perhaps the most difficult to accept as many who would consider themselves domain experts would not have gone above level 5 of the epistemology! There is nothing an academic hates more than a theory that shows his own principles are wrong and for me personally he is enlightening. (Ardalby (talk) 19:31, 26 April 2008 (UTC))


There is a page I found very helpful at and I would recommend it for inclusion in the further reading section. Many of the works cited there could be added to the main article and references. Simon Grant (talk) 10:04, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

I will work on incorporating Rapaport's workKmpolacek (talk) 15:44, 29 September 2011 (UTC)