Service-Learning Research & Related Articles
Andrew Furco, a highly regarded “American scholar, researcher, and educator in the field of experiential education”, outlines in his article, “Service-Learning: A Balanced Approach to Experiential Education” how Service-Learning is different from other forms of experiential learning. He also argues for an educational shift toward focusing on Service-Learning as an ideal way of incorporating real world experience into the world of academia.
The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) provides a history of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in the academic setting.
AAC&U includes Service Learning as one of its “High Impact Practices”. These practices are highlighted as providing a deep learning experience to students. Via this website, AAC&U has organized various resources such as scholarly articles, learning outcomes and assessments, as well as case studies that highlight the importance and success of Service Learning as a High Impact Practice, primarily in Higher Education.
Rockquemore, K. and Schaffer, R. provide evidence of the effect Service-Learning has on engaged students in their article “Toward a Theory of Engagement: A Cognitive Mapping of Service-Learning Experiences”.
AAC&U’s Six Essential Findings on Students’ Civic Learning and Engagement: (from “A Brief Review of the Evidence on Civic Learning in Higher Education”)
1. More than 70 percent of all college students report participating in some form of volunteering, community service, or service learning during their time in college.
(Source: National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. 2012. A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.)
2. About one-half of college students report participating in credit-bearing service learning activities during their time in college.
(Source: National Survey of Student Engagement. 2010. NSSE 2010 Grand Frequencies by Major, First-Year Students and Seniors. Bloomington, IN:
Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research; Data from the Higher Education Research Institute cited in O’Neill, Nancy. Forthcoming. Practices that Matter: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.)
3. Dozens of studies show that service learning is positively associated with a variety of civic learning outcomes. (Source: Finley, Ashley. 2011. Civic Learning and Democratic Engagements: A Review of the Literature on Civic Engagement in Postsecondary Education. Unpublished paper.
4. Emerging evidence suggests that the more frequently students participate in a continuum of civic learning practices (e.g. service learning, meaningful cross-racial interactions on campus or in classrooms, or real-world problem-based learning), the more they make gains on a variety
of civic outcomes.
(Sources: Blaich, C. and Wise, K. 2011. “Wabash National Study findings on Personal and Social Responsibility.” Unpublished data provided by the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education; Bowen, Glenn. 2010. “Service-Learning in the Scholarship of Teaching and
Learning: Effective Practices.” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 4(2): 1-15; Eyler, Janet S., Giles, Dwight E., Stenson, Christine M., Gray, Charlene J. 2001. At a Glance: What We Know about The Effects of Service-Learning on College Students, Faculty, Institutions and Communities, 1993-2000: Third Edition. Retrieved 10/12/10 from content/uploads/resources/downloads/aag.pdf); Hurtado, Sylvia and DeAngelo, Linda. Forthcoming 2012. “Linking Diversity and Civic-Minded Practices with Student Outcomes: New Evidence from CIRP National Surveys.” Liberal Education. 98 (2).)
5. Although over forty percent of all college students are enrolled at public two-year institutions, only about a quarter of these students report taking a course that included a service-learning experience.
(Source: American Association of Community Colleges. 2011. “Fact Sheet”; Center
for Community College Student Engagement [CCCSE]. 2011. “Key Findings: Active and Collaborative Learning.” Community College Survey of Student Engagement. Retrieved 11/9/11 from
6. Despite a wealth of positive evidence related to service-learning experiences, findings on a range of civic measures and social responsibility outcomes compared over time suggest that students’ civic learning is neither robust nor pervasive.
(Source: Finley, Ashley. 2012. Making
Progress? What We Know About the Achievement of Liberal Education Outcomes. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.) (see page 2)
6. More resources and articles can be found on this webpage: