Effects of environmental service-learning on locus of control and critical thinking of middle school students





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This paper documents a service-learning project completed by an advanced seventh grade science class taught by the author of the paper. The research shows an increase of an internal locus of control and the development of reflective judgment through the ill-structured nature of the service-learning project. The study uses the Reflective Judgment Model created by King and Kitchner and follows Eyler and Giles's study to apply the Reflective Judgment Model to service-learning. Students show an increase of 0.4 in their reflective judgment on a four point scale. Eighteen percent more of the student had an internal locus of control for environmental issues after the project. Only three of the 26 students had an external locus of control after the project. The increases were measured with a pre- and post-survey, and the project showed an increase in seventh graders' locus of control and reflective judgment after completing an environmental service-learning project.

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