Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions, Motivations, and Concerns of Post-Secondary Faculty Regarding Implementing Service-Learning Pedagogy Into Curriculum
by Smith, Cynthia P., Ed.D., St. John Fisher College, 2008, 173; 3444942
Abstract (Summary)

Faculty in post-secondary educational institutions is directly involved in designing, implementing and directing coursework components. The degree of the coursework’s impact on student learning can be attributed in part to these instructional gatekeepers. Extensive research indicates that service-learning tenets incorporated into curriculum have enhanced student learning experiences. Nevertheless, faculty inclusion of service-learning curricular components in higher education remains marginal.

The purpose of this research was to study post-secondary faculty perceptions, motivations, and concerns from three local institutions of higher education regarding the phenomena that attracts or deters faculty from participating in service-learning pedagogy. This study concludes that more than one third of faculty who do not incorporate Service-learning has no knowledge of the pedagogy or do not know how to implement service-learning project effectively. Others are reluctant to implement service-learning because of the perception that it is not relevant to their coursework or that logistical issues are overwhelming. Those who do service-learning state that while concerns exist; the benefits to all constituents far surpass any pedagogical hindrances. A Spearman rho test for analysis of the demographics of gender, rank, and tenure was performed for variances in faculty perceptions.

By employing a mixed method approach, the researcher attempted to pragmatically study the problem through multiple lenses. An electronic survey was conducted and distributed to 2710 post-secondary teaching faculty in Monroe County, NY. Open-ended survey questions, focus groups, and interviews were designed to gather data from phenomenological experiences. These multiple research methods were interactive and humanistic in nature.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Travers, John P.
Commitee: McCloskey, Cynthia
School: St. John Fisher College
Department: School of Education Executive Leadership
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pedagogy, Adult education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Curriculum, Faculty, Higher education, Mixed-methods, Pedagogy, Postsecondary, Service learning
Publication Number: 3444942
ISBN: 978-1-124-53126-7
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