A World of Difference: Engaging Through Experiential Service Learning
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Thesis Final Chilsen.pdf
Chilsen, Lisa Martineau
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This study investigated student perceptions of engagement that can be used to better understand engagement in an experiential and service learning educational environment. The targeted population consisted of former students of a U.S. Midwestern high school. The semester-long boarding school featured an immersion program organized around experiential service learning and engagement with the outdoors. The literature review provided a historical overview of the experiential service learning theory and engagement model and reviewed how an experiential service learning environment may increase student engagement. This was a narrative case study using qualitative research methods. Responses were analyzed using study defined themes anticipated and presented in the literature review: Relationships, Transformative Self-Knowing, and Citizenship. The results organized by these themes include audio recorded and reflection data gathered from students who graduated from The School. The discussion is focused around the themes and suggests further possible research to better understand student engagement in an experiential learning environment.
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