Does service learning enhance personal growth and resilience? An international comparison of New Zealand and Irish students wellbeing

Barton, Hannah and Roche, Maree and Horn, Christine (2011) Does service learning enhance personal growth and resilience? An international comparison of New Zealand and Irish students wellbeing. In: Second World Congress on Positive Psychology, 23-26 July, 2011, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Abstract or Summary

This poster provides an international comparison of the positive outcomes of student learning in terms of enhanced Resiliency and Psychological Wellbeing (PWB) as a result of service learning. Over 30 students from New Zealand and Ireland participated in this study. Both student samples completed the Connor Davidson resilience scale and Ryff and Singers PWB scales prior to completing a service learning assignment and upon completion of their course. During the course students were required to maintain a reflective learning journal of their experiences so as to reflect on their own personal and professional growth and understanding. Student pre and post testing questionnaires were subject to SSPS analysis, and student reflective journals subject to content analysis. Findings include a movement in resilience for students engaged in service learning, enhancement of PWB scores, and personal reflections that demonstrate a movement in learning and self understanding. Examples will be provided that will demonstrate cross cultural differences in relation to the assignment. The service learning assignment, according to the students, provided an opportunity for personal growth, increases in self-efficacy, self-esteem and became, for some students, a transformative learning experience. The study concludes that service learning has the potential to broaden and build students personal, and future professional, wellbeing. It enables students to build up reserves of positive wellbeing and can be used in education as tool to develop wellbeing personally and professionally. The poster concludes with a discussion of the variations across the different countries, and outlines further areas of research required.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Keywords that describe the item:service learning, personal growth, resilience, New Zealand, Ireland
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions:Schools > School of Business and Adminstration
ID Code:1188
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Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 07:09
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 07:09

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