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ERIC Number: ED556554
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 233
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-4533-1
Critical Democratic Citizenship: The Effects of Community-Engaged Scholarship and Inequality Content on Student Learning
Gordon da Cruz, Cynthia
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Harvard University
Many U.S. higher education institutions are reaffirming their commitments to public purposes--preparing graduates for civic engagement for the public good and producing knowledge with real-world applications. Developing students for civic engagement for justice in the context of a diverse and inequitable democracy is a complex task. In Article 1, I outline one concrete set of learning outcomes to support such engagement--participation, openness to multiple perspectives, controversy with civility, active thinking, justice-orientation, and structural thinking about racial inequality--that are general enough to be applicable across disciplines and universities, yet specific enough to give universities outcomes for which to strive and tools to measure their success. I name this set of learning outcomes "critical democratic citizenship." In Article 2, I focus on a strategy for fostering such civic engagement: "community-engaged scholarship". Community-engaged scholarship has multiple meanings resulting in ambiguity about which practices higher education professionals should undertake. Previously studied for its impacts on faculty research and institutional change, this article focuses on understanding the pedagogical applications of community-engaged scholarship and suggests a new direction for the field--critical community-engaged scholarship. In Article 3, I outline the results of an in-depth quantitative study at the University of California, Berkeley, in which I examine the impacts of inequality content and community-engaged scholarship on critical democratic citizenship. I find that students in courses with above-average levels of content on how structural inequality is reproduced through laws, policies, and cultural practices, finish their courses better prepared to engage in critical democratic citizenship. Further, students in classes with high levels of inequality content and high levels of community-engaged scholarship are more equipped to: participate civically, engage with a justice-orientation, and think actively about society. By concretely defining "critical democratic citizenship" and associated learning outcomes (Article 1), outlining "community-engaged scholarship" and providing examples of its pedagogical applications (Article 2), and developing statistically valid instruments through structural equation modeling to measure the impact of inequality content and community-engaged scholarship on critical democratic citizenship (Article 3), this mixed-methods dissertation adds to our understanding of how postsecondary institutions can produce knowledge and educate students for the public good. I use citizen and citizenship to mean civic engagement and civically engaged people and not documentation of affiliation with a nation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California