Author(s)

Seth Cohen

Date Approved

7-9-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Sudeck, Maria

Subject(s)

Service learning;Environmental education;Language arts (Elementary);Leadership

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

This study examined the impact of environmentally immersive service learning on a focused cluster of the NJASK, self-perception of leadership, attitude toward the environment, and student ability to define and articulate the benefits of service learning. The study compared the 2008-2009 New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge 7 (NJASK 7) and the 2009-2010 New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge 8 (NJASK 8) cluster area score of the explanatory task. The difference in the mean score on the explanatory task was analyzed by comparing the state, the Allamuchy Township School District, and the district factor group, representing other communities with relatively similar socioeconomic status. The second section contains a self-analysis of attitudes and perception of participant leadership skills prior to participation in the study, and again after participation in the study using the Student Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). There are five subscales that are discussed including: modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart. The third section analyzes the results from Children's Attitudes Towards the Environment Scale (CATES), which measures environmental attitudes of children. The fourth section includes data gathered from structured interviews discussing student ability to define and articulate the benefits of service learning after participating in environmentally immersive service learning. The research indicated a significant increase in attitude toward the environment, and the increase in the cluster area score of explanatory writing demonstrates the need for further research. Self-perception of leadership was not statistically significant, and the ability to define and articulate the benefits of service learning highlighted areas of focus for future research projects.

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