Power to young hands: an exploration into student experiences from service-learning participation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Esther M. Underwood Coble (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Ulrich Reitzug

Abstract: Service-learning is an instructional strategy that links academic learning with the community's needs. It provides opportunities for learning to occur outside of the traditional classroom setting. Service-learning promotes students' abilities to become critical and reflective thinkers as they apply learned concepts to relevant issues in their communities. This qualitative research study used a phenomenological approach to describe the essence of the service-learning experiences for high school students. This study explored students' perceptions of the benefits they receive from service-learning participation and their desire to participant in service-learning. The study also examined the connection between high school students' participation in service requirements as a direct link to the development or enhancement of their character. Participants in the study were juniors and seniors in high school. The study participants were immersed in service-learning experiences and were working toward earning their Service-Learning Diploma. Data were collected from face to face interviews, focus group sessions, and field observations. These multiple methods of data collection were used to gain an in-depth view of the essence of service-learning participation for the study participants. Data analysis revealed common themes which expressed the benefits high school students received from their participation in service-learning. The research findings revealed that service-learning participation enhanced the development of the study participants' interpersonal skills, leadership, career awareness, academic development, and their moral and performance character. The findings also revealed that the study participants desired to make a difference in their community. The benefits of service-learning from the lens of the participants' evidences the positive impact service-learning participation has on the lives of high school students. Concluding thoughts and recommendations for the implementation of service-learning are outlined.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Character development, Community service, Service-learning
Service learning $z United States
Student volunteers in social service $z United States $x Attitudes
Experiential learning $z United States
High school students $z United States $x Conduct of life

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