Can service learning facilitate wellbeing? An international comparison of New Zealand and Irish student wellbeing

Roche, Maree and Barton, Hannah (2010) Can service learning facilitate wellbeing? An international comparison of New Zealand and Irish student wellbeing. In: 5th European Conference on Positive Psychology, 23-26 June, 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Abstract or Summary

This paper provides an international comparison of the positive outcomes of student learning in terms of enhanced resiliency and psychological wellbeing (PWB) as a result of in service learning and reflection. 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. Moreover, the service learning assignment, according to the students, provided an opportunity for personal growth, increases in selfefficacy and 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 presentation concludes with a discussion of the variations across the different countries, and outlines further areas of research required.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Keywords that describe the item:In service learning, wellbeing, international comparison
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Business, Information Technology and Enterprise > School of Business and Adminstration
ID Code:781
Deposited By:
Deposited On:06 Oct 2010 20:39
Last Modified:09 May 2011 07:01

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