Date Approved

7-27-2012

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Alane Starko, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Joe Bishop, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sylvia Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Patricia Pokay, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study explores the experience of service learning in schools today. Guiding this inquiry was the question, “How do service-learning professionals approach, implement, and perceive service learning, and to what degree do these elements affect how they collaborate with others?” To this end, I sought to learn more about how intentions and outcomes become translated by community service organizations, teachers, and students into actual service learning experiences. Based on individual interviews, the findings indicate the need to reconcile service-learning experiences with the ideals that inform them. The process of applying service learning is most characterized by the variety of motives that inform its use and the degree of support it received. The data also indicate that the questions of motive and support are both dependent on three contextual conditions: funding, the measurement of benefits, and familiarity. These findings may better inform future service-learning experiences and the collaboration between service-learning professionals.

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