Restricted Access Thesis
The purpose of this study was to assess the critical thinking skills possessed by seven Somali and East Asian community college students between the ages of nineteen and thirty-one and the life experiences that had nurtured those skills. In ninety-minute semistructured interviews, participants described cultural, familial, and personal influences on major life decisions. Data was coded using benchmarks derived from the literature in three domains of development and triangulated with the quantitative Career Decision-Making Survey (Laughlin & Creamer, 2007 King et al, 2009 Drago Severson, 2004). Findings indicated that developmentally effective experiences caused participants to question external formulas, acknowledge uncertainty, prioritize personal values, and desire equality. Participants scored highest in intrapersonal development, suggesting that cross-cultural identity formation may promote critical thinking. However, hierarchical family structures and encounters with racism seemed to hinder cognitive and interpersonal development. Results suggest explicit instruction in decision-making and responding to racism to facilitate intellectual growth.
Clark, Kristyn, "The impact of immigrant life experiences on collegiate critical thinking skills: a mixed methods case study" (2010). School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations. 417.