Christine Cress

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership and Policy

Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 245 p.) : ill.


Civic competence, Civic engagement, Community-based learning, Service learning, Critical pedagogy, Higher Education -- Social aspects, Social justice -- Study and teaching




Civic competence is critical to the successful functioning of pluralistic democracies. Developing the knowledge, skills, and motivations for effective democratic participation is a national and global imperative that many higher education institutions have embraced through the teaching strategies of community-based learning and service-learning. Yet, scant research literature has focused on the relationship between pedagogical approaches and civic competence outcomes. This five-year longitudinal study of 11,000 students in 700 senior-level capstone courses at an urban research university empirically tested a new theoretically constructed model of civic competence development in order to identify epistemological and pedagogical elements that enhance civic competence. Eight epistemological domains embedded within four components of civic competence (knowledge, skills, attitudes, and actions) were analyzed utilizing item and factor analysis. The model was extremely robust (r = .917) for civic competence development and indicated strong effect size for multiple pedagogical elements of course design, teaching strategies, and integration of community service. Significantly, the greatest effect for developing civic competence is pedagogical incorporation of diversity and social justice issues. Thus, the Critical Pedagogy Model of Civic Competence offers faculty a heuristic taxonomy of teaching and learning strategies to utilize diversity of thought and interaction in community-based learning as a catalyst for transforming students into competent democratic participants.


Portland State University. Dept. of Educational Leadership and Policy

Persistent Identifier