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ERIC Number: ED527610
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 150
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-4502-9
Service Learning Experience and Undergraduate Leadership Behaviors: An Action Research Case Study
Kenary, Judy
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Hartford
Service-learning has been shown to be an effective practice that positively affects students' academic achievement, self-esteem, and problem-solving skills (Billig, 2002; Eyler & Giles, 1999; Wilczenski & Coomey, 2007). This mixed-method action research case study was conducted to explore the possible link between service-learning experience and college student perceptions of their development of leadership behaviors. The purpose of the study was to assess the extent to which college students perceived that participating in a service-learning experience provided them with opportunities to perform selected leadership behaviors as identified by Kouzes and Posner's (2002) five leadership practices: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. The study was conducted with twenty-five undergraduate students enrolled in a full-semester leadership course. The students were assigned to five groups of five students per group to work together throughout the semester. The students completed a slightly modified version of Kouzes and Posner's (2006) thirty-question Likert scale survey, as well as a reflective two-item question survey developed by the researcher, prior to and following the service-learning experience. Each team participated in focus groups conducted by the researcher at the conclusion of the service-learning experience. The statistical analysis for this study consisted of obtaining quantitative and qualitative measures. Dependent "t"-tests and effect sizes were calculated to assess changes in group survey scores. The "t"-values were significant across all categories with the exception of the sub-research question addressing Modeling the Way. Also, effect sizes were very strong across all other experiences with the exception of Modeling the Way. The qualitative analysis of the reflective two-item questionnaire and the focus groups involved open coding. The combined quantitative results indicated that the students felt comfortable participating as team members and that the service-learning experience enabled them to develop their leadership skills. Recommendations for practice include incorporating service-learning experiences into college leadership courses, as well as incorporating the teachings of service-learning strategies into faculty development programs. Recommendations for future research include using alternative research methods to focus on multiple factors, which may further develop students' leadership behaviors through service-learning experiences. [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