ERIC Number: EJ1081139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
Service-Learning: Implications for Empathy and Community Engagement in Elementary School Children
Scott, Katharine E.; Graham, James A.
Journal of Experiential Education, v38 n4 p354-372 Dec 2015
The literature on service-learning outcomes in pre-adolescent children is relatively sparse. Empathy (i.e., overall, cognitive, affective) and community engagement (i.e., connection to the community, civic awareness, civic efficacy) were assessed in 155 first, second, and fifth graders (n = 79 males; n = 76 females) using a pre/post design for a five-session pilot service-learning program. Paired-samples t tests indicated positive changes in empathy and community engagement over time. Post-community engagement was examined by a mediation analysis of empathy (Time 2) on community engagement (Time 1). Additional analyses revealed an overall change in empathy and community engagement for all grades, but cognitive empathy increased only for fifth graders. Similarly, only fifth-grade participants showed a significant change in civic efficacy, pointing to a developmental factor for civic efficacy that should be examined more extensively. Future research and recommendations for studies of the impact of service-learning programs in primary and elementary school are discussed.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 5, Service Learning, Preadolescents, Empathy, Pretests Posttests, Statistical Analysis, Attitude Change, Citizenship Responsibility, Social Development, Pilot Projects, Attitude Measures
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Interpersonal Reactivity Index