The perceptions of middle school students regarding the contributions of service learning education
The study was conducted to determine the perceptions of middle school students regarding the contributions of service learning education. A survey with eleven statements regarding the contributions of the PLUS/Leadership program (service learning education) to school climate and academic achievement was conducted at two K-8 elementary Central Valley schools. Fifty-four middle school students participated in the survey during the week of Jan 25, 2015, after having been enrolled in a service learning class for two quarters. All surveys were collected and analyzed using the Chi Square Goodness of Fit and descriptive techniques. There was a significant difference in the distribution of responses for 10 of the 11 survey statements. The majority of students either agreed or strongly agreed that participation in the PLUS/Leadership program improved their attitude about: feeling connected or a bond with the school, other students, teachers, and staff; school pride; and feeling safe at school. The survey also concluded that the majority of students either agreed or strongly agreed that participation in the PLUS/Leadership program improved their ability to study, think creatively, think critically, discuss ideas, work independently, and work in groups.