ERIC Number: ED506728
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Reference Count: 22
Community Service and Service-Learning in America's Schools
Spring, Kimberly; Grimm, Robert, Jr.; Dietz, Nathan
Corporation for National and Community Service
In the spring of 2008, 1,847 principals of K-12 public schools, nationwide, responded to a survey on the prevalence of community service and service-learning in their schools. The "National Study of the Prevalence of Community Service and Service-Learning in K-12 Public Schools," sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and conducted by Westat, collected data on the scope of community service and service-learning activities, as well as the policies and supports for service-learning provided by and for schools during the 2007-08 academic year. The survey utilized the same methodology as surveys of community service and service-learning conducted in 1999 and 2004, thereby allowing for a look at the trends in school-based community service and service-learning over the past decade. The study indicates that schools in low-income areas have not seen the same level of decline in service-learning that has occurred in schools that are not in low-income areas. As other research supports, this finding suggests that teachers and administrators of schools with a high proportion of students from low-income families are more likely to see the academic and civic benefits of service-learning. At a time when individuals see the civic and academic gap between youth from disadvantaged circumstances and those who are not growing, this is a positive sign that service-learning can help address this gap. The authors recommend that further research be conducted, not just with those civic-minded schools that support both community service and service-learning, but also with schools that report that they lack the time and the funds to incorporate service-learning into their classrooms. By better understanding both these groups, it will be possible to be responsive to the goals of schools to see their students succeed. Appendixes include: (1) Characteristics of Schools that Recognize Student Participation in Community Service and Arrange Community Service Opportunities for Students, 1999 and 2008, and (2) Characteristics of Schools with Service-Learning, 1999 and 2008. (Contains 22 footnotes, 11 tables, and 8 charts.)
Descriptors: Public Schools, Elementary Secondary Education, Student Participation, Service Learning, Educational Opportunities, Low Income Groups, Principals, National Surveys, Educational Policy, Educational Trends, Community Services, School Community Relationship, Institutional Characteristics, Barriers, Curriculum, Educational Environment
Corporation for National and Community Service. 1201 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20525. Tel: 202-606-5000; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nationalservice.gov
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: Corporation for National and Community Service, Washington, DC.; Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: Corporation for National and Community Service, Washington, DC.