Carolyn Barber

Carolyn Barber
Interim Dean, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation/Missouri Endowed Faculty Chair, and Professor
Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences

Contact Info
347 Education


How I Help Students

Carolyn Barber joined the School of Education as an Assistant Professor in 2007 and, as of 2019, is a Professor in the Division of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations. As a faculty member specializing in educational research and psychology, she has taught coursework in developmental psychology, educational psychology, research methodology, and statistics to students across the School of Education and the UMKC campus. She has also worked as an advisor in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. and Interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs. From 2017 to 2020 she served as Associate Dean of the School of Education, with responsibilities centered on faculty affairs, graduate affairs, and assessment and accreditation.

Research Areas

Dr. Barber’s research explores the way that schools support positive development in adolescents and young adults, and how those supports vary across a variety of social and cultural contexts. She has particular interests in role that such contexts play in the development of civic attitudes and behaviors. She is trained in quantitative methodologies and specializes in the use of complex-sample and multilevel techniques to address these questions using large-scale survey data. Prior research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the AERA Grants Program, and the National Science Foundation.


Ph.D., Human Development, Specialization in Educational Psychology, University of Maryland-College Park
M.A., Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation, University of Maryland-College Park

Advising Interests

Dr. Barber advises doctoral students with interests in youth development, impacts of educational contexts, and applications of measurement and statistical methodology to address substantive research questions. She serves on dissertation committees as an expert in quantitative methodology, human development, civic engagement, gifted education, and/or educational psychology.

Recent publications

Barber, C. (2021). Joining an international community of practice: Reflections on the IEA Civic Education Studies. In B. Malak-Minkiewicz & J. Torney-Purta (Eds.), The influence of IEA Civic and Citizenship Education Studies: Practice, policy and research across countries and regions (pp. 195-203). Springer.

Barber, C., Clark, C., & Torney-Purta, J. (2021). Learning environments and school/classroom climate as supports for civic reasoning, discourse, and engagement. In C. Lee, G. White and D. Dong (Eds.). Educating for civic reasoning and discourse (pp. 273-318). National Academies Press.

Barber, C., & Ross, J. (2020). Profiles of adolescents’ civic attitudes in sixteen countries: Examining cross-cohort changes from 1999 to 2009. Research in Comparative and International Education, 15(2), 79-96.

Maurissen, L., Barber, C., & Claes, E. (2020). Classroom discussions and political tolerance towards immigrants: The importance of mutual respect and responsiveness. Acta Politica, 55(3), 242-266.

Marszalek, J., Barber, C., & Nilsson, J. (2019). A cognitive diagnostic analysis of the Social Issues Advocacy Scale (SIAS). Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology, 39(6), 839-858.

Office Hours

Available by appointment