Perceived cognitive and affective growth among university students in a service learning class

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Donna Duffy (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Thomas J. Martinek

Abstract: "The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceived cognitive and affective growth among university students in a service learning class. In addition, the study also examined the perceived facilitators and the challenges and barriers to the service learning and mentoring process. Participants were students enrolled in ESS 519 during the spring semester of 2003. During the first class meeting for ESS 519, all students completed a demographic questionnaire which included information regarding the student's service experience (e.g. community service, other service learning experiences), their class year and contact information. Students who met the following three criteria were invited to participate in the current study. The three criteria are: (a) no prior enrollment in ESS 519, (b) less than one month of any type of service experience, and (c) low self-reported scores on the pre-course knowledge questionnaire. The pre-course knowledge questionnaire was designed by the researcher to establish a baseline of knowledge for each participant about the five main curriculum areas taught in ESS 519. The five main curriculum areas were: (a) underserved and at-risk youth, (b) developing cross-cultural competences, (c) poverty and the impact on schooling and learning, (d) resiliency among youth, and (e) goal setting. Four students in ESS 519 met the study criteria. All four participated in the study. Data were collected from the participants throughout the course of the semester. There were five data sources for this study. The five data sources were: (a) pre and post-course knowledge questionnaires, (b) mentor journal sheets, (c) in-class reflections, (d) individual interviews, and (e) a focus group interview. Each participant reported an increase in their cognitive growth in all five curriculum areas. Perceptions of cognitive were deductively analyzed based on the five main curriculum detailed above. Each participant report differing levels of affective growth based on several factors. Each participant's perceptions of their affective growth were inductively analyzed based on emerging themes from raw data. In addition, the participants were able to identify the perceived facilitators and barriers and challenges to their service learning and mentoring experience. These were also inductively analyzed based on emerging themes. The cross-case analyses results supported the perceived growth reported by the participants as a result of their service learning experience. This growth was consistent among all of the participants."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
service learning, mentoring, affective growth, cognitive growth

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