Learning by Doing: service learning as a means of personal growth in the middle grades



The spring edition of Current Issues in Middle Level Education is out! I am excited to have a piece in this academic journal, called Learning by Doing: service learning as a means of personal growth in the middle grades. Here’s the introduction:

“Does service learning impact the personal growth of middle grades students in grades 4-8? If so, in what ways? A review of the literature indicates that it does, in terms of the development of empathy, responsibility, civic engagement, and self-efficacy. In addition, findings include growth in students’ communication with parents and teachers. In this literature review the developmental match between service learning and early adolescence is analyzed, as well the research on personal growth and service learning among K-16 populations. In addition, the issues of reducing bias, possible pitfalls of service learning in relation to personal development, and a measurement tool for future studies are shared. Findings include the importance of reflection, project duration, and mutual understanding between those served and participants of service learning. With these components in place, service learning can lead to significant personal growth in students, especially middle level learners.”

You can read the full article here!

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