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New Study Assesses Impact of Service Learning on Civic Engagement

We just heard about a new CIRCLE (www.civicyouth.org) Working Paper by Shelley Billig, Sue Root, and Dan Jesse of RMC Research Corporation that examines the impact of service-learning on civic engagement. The study compared more than 1,000 high school students who participated in service-learning programs with those who did not participate in schools matched for similar demographics and student achievement profiles. It found that service-learning students were significantly more likely to say they intended to vote and that they enjoyed school. Importantly, the study suggests that the way service learning is implemented matters: students who were involved for at least a semester in a program that was linked to standards, involved more direct contact with service recipients, and had cognitively challenging reflection activities were more likely to be civically engaged than those in other types of service learning. For the full report, click this link: http://www.civicyouth.org/research/areas/serv_learn.htm

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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