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ERIC Number: EJ893701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1683-1381
From Community Service to Service-Learning Leadership: A Program Perspective
Colby, Susan; Bercaw, Lynne; Clark, Ann Marie; Galiardi, Shari
New Horizons in Education, v57 n3 p20-31 Dec 2009
Background: One of the debates around service-learning is if and what changes can be affected in the short duration of a college course, typically 15 weeks. This study explores how one education program addresses this challenge by taking into consideration students' cognitive and social development and systematically designs a progression of community service and service-learning experiences. Prospective elementary education teachers begin this program by engaging in community service during their sophomore year. In their junior year in a required course in learner diversity, they are students of service-learning. Then, in their senior year, they become teachers of service-learning projects in their elementary classroom placements. Aims: The aim of this investigation is to ascertain whether prospective teachers demonstrate growth in cultural understanding and content knowledge through a credential program which has a community service/service-learning component that develops over three years. Sample: During a three year period, 413 elementary education majors responded to surveys about their service-learning experiences. Method: Students responded to surveys at the conclusion of each of two courses with a service-learning component. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed. Results: Findings from the data reveal that service-learning has broadened students understanding of social issues; helped them to examine their own views and biases; provided them with a greater responsibility to the community; and assisted them in acquiring skills useful in their career. Conclusion: Students gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their community as they experience community service and service-learning at different levels throughout the program. Students who participate in this program not only benefit from a change in their own personal views, but also learn the importance of facilitating changes in attitudes, beliefs, and practices in others. This progression of experiences significantly influences students' abilities to apply what they have learned as teachers in a classroom. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A