Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2019

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 09/04/2021

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Bowman, Nicholas A

First Committee Member

Barnhardt, Cassie

Second Committee Member

Bills, David

Third Committee Member

DeVane, Benjamin

Fourth Committee Member

Pascarella, Ernest


This dissertation explores the potential for higher education to promote the development of critical being among diverse students, including three studies that employ critical quantitative approaches. The first chapter proposes critical being as an alternative to critical thinking that better reflects the purposes of higher education for the public good. In Chapter Two, I create a survey-based instrument measuring critical being, including three factors that are theoretically grounded in the work of Barnett (1997) and Davies (2015). Chapter Three examines the relationship between specific instructional practices associated with academic challenge and four-year growth in critical being among three racial and/or ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education: Black and African American students, Asian and Pacific Islander students, and Hispanic, Latinx and Chicano students. Chapter Four focuses on college instructors, exploring the relationship of individual, academic, and organizational factors with instructors’ emphasis of critical being in the classroom and their beliefs about students’ abilities and efforts. Finally, Chapter Five returns to the necessity for higher education to center critical being in order to equip students to be well-informed agents of social change. By bringing together the results of the three studies, this chapter also considers the implications of higher education for critical being, offers self-reflection on the implementation of critical quantitative approaches, and looks forward in making recommendations for future research.


critical quantitative methods, critical thinking, pedagogy, public good, scale development, teaching and learning


xii, 153 pages


Includes bibliographical references.


Copyright © 2019 KC Culver

Available for download on Saturday, September 04, 2021