NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED545613
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 128
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2675-8193-8
Academic Service-Learning and Integrative Complexity
Koch-Patterson, Penelope
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seattle University
Society is more and more interconnected and interdependent. This results in a plethora of complex social problems and thereby creates the need for individuals with strong decision-making skills. This quantitative study examined the relationship between undergraduate students' participation in academic service-learning and their levels of integrative complexity, a cognitive construct that deals with decision making. Participants were 78 students enrolled at Seattle University who responded to a social problem-solving scenario that dealt with poverty. The scenarios were scored for integrative complexity by independent trained coders who were unaware of the research questions or hypotheses. Additionally, students completed a survey to determine which, if any, principles of good practice for academic service-learning, types of academic service-learning performed, and/or students' personal demographics, may also have been associated with students' levels of integrative complexity. The researcher employed one-way analyses of variance and Pearson r product-moment correlations to compare and analyze possible relationships among various demographic characteristics and the integrative complexity levels of student respondents. Four key conclusions emerged from the results of this study: (a) student participation in academic service-learning did not result in statistically significant higher levels of integrative complexity, (F = 331, p > 0.05); (b) one principle of good practice for academic service-learning (duration and intensity) did result in statistically significant higher levels of integrative complexity among participating students, (F = 5.029, p < 0.05); (c) students who had direct personal life experience with poverty also demonstrated higher levels of integrative complexity, resulting in a statically significant positive correlation, (r = 250, p < 0.05); and (d) students who engaged in more than 30 hours of volunteerism in the previous 12 months also demonstrated higher levels of integrative complexity, resulting in a statistically significant positive correlation, (r = 0.278, p < 0.05). Implications for educators and organizational development professionals are (a) on-going and repeated learning will likely be needed to bring about the desired student learning outcomes, (b) educators may want to explore how to integrate students' life experiences into assignments so as to make learning outcomes more robust, and (c) educators and organizations should explore opportunities to bring more positive meaning into the work that their students and employees do to support the development of integrative complexity. [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
Identifiers - Location: Washington