ERIC Number: ED478966
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-May
The Curriculuar Connection to Service Learning.
Gonsiorek, Maria T.
This action research study examines student reactions to a sixty-hour community service graduate requirement at an all-girl, Catholic high school; identifies reasons for the apathy and disdain with which students view the requirement; and suggests creating a service learning environment that will increase students' investment and interest in participating in service projects by making curricular connections to the community service. The perceptions and attitudes of 80 tenth grade students towards the community service requirement were gauged through conversations, a review of journal reflections, and surveys. Results suggested that students felt that the requirement was an imposition that had little to do with their classes or high school career. In order to challenge this position, the researcher introduced service learning into the classroom by scheduling weekly discussions of community hopes and concerns and encouraging students to interact with the community. Service learning is intended to challenge and change status quo rather than reinforce inequalities in place through disconnected service projects, and it allowed students to chose projects, such as neighborhood cleanups, that related to both their curriculum and their community. This resulted in an enthusiasm that appeared to bring more understanding of the need for a service graduation requirement. (Includes 3 appendices, 4 charts, 9 tables, and 30 references.) (MO)
Descriptors: Action Research, Attitude Change, Catholic Schools, Citizenship Education, Curriculum Development, Educational Environment, Educational Philosophy, Graduation Requirements, Hidden Curriculum, High Schools, Integrated Curriculum, School Community Relationship, School Culture, Service Learning, Single Sex Schools, Student Attitudes, Student Reaction, Student School Relationship, Student Volunteers, Womens Education
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: An action research project submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the School of Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master or Arts in Teaching and Leadership, Saint Xavier University & SkyLight, Field-Based Master's Program, Chicago, IL.