Capstone/Dissertation Title

How elementary students describe civic engagement after participating in a service learning project

Term

2011

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Abstract

Many studies show that service learning can provide positive benefits to students, from increased academic motivation to greater levels of civic engagement. Most of these studies, however, focus on how service learning affects middle school or high school students. There is a noticeable lack of literature about service learning and elementary students. This study examines how elementary students describe civic engagement after participating in a service learning project. Using a qualitative research method, I conducted student and parent surveys, as well as student interviews, both before and after the project. Students who participated in a year-long service learning project showed increases in academic motivation, problem solving skills, and civic engagement. Moreover, student interviews revealed that students remained civically engaged up to two years after the project's completion. The results show that service learning can benefit students of all ages.

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