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ERIC Number: ED521397
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 178
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-5368-1
Uncovering the Civic Dimensions of Service-Learning in Higher Education: A Multi-Case Study
Tucker, Bowa George
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston
Service learning is a pedagogy that combines classroom instruction with community service. Its goals are to provide students with learning experiences that reinforce the curriculum, improve students' personal and interpersonal development, and connect students to the needs of the community (Jacoby et al., 2003). Since the mid 1980s, the number of service-learning courses offered by faculty in higher education has steadily increased, and research indicates that service learning yields significant gains in student learning outcomes (Eyler & Giles 1999; Astin et. al., 2000). While the definition of service learning includes civic learning (Bringle & Hatcher, 1996; Howard, 2001), in most service-learning courses, the focus remains mainly on the academic learning outcomes of students. A common concern is the lack of civic learning goals in service-learning courses (Saltmarsh, 2005; Musil, 2003; Kirlin, 2002). Civic learning is the development of citizenship skills, values and knowledge in students resulting from civic engagement. In order to more effectively utilize the power of service-learning, faculty may seek to integrate civic learning goals into their service-learning courses. Through the use of qualitative research techniques, this study aims to uncover civic dimensions in service-learning courses. The unit of analysis is faculty who integrate civic learning into service learning. Twelve faculty members are interviewed to discern the professional and interpersonal contexts of their teaching that influence the civic aspects of their service-learning course. Data is collected from four professors at each of the three institutions of higher education selected for this study. By examining course design and learning goals, this research is significant because it reveals new understandings that are instructive to those concerned about the civic engagement of students while reinvigorating the civic mission of higher education. It contributes to filling the gap in the current literature and enables scholars to link research and teaching in the context of civic engagement in American democracy, as well as providing a foundation on which further research can be built. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A