Document Type


Publication Date

January 2000


This article reports on the effects of infusing a 20-hour per semester service-learning requirement into a large Introductory Child Development course. Analyses of student outcomes on course assignments revealed that the 166 students in the service-learning cohorts (2 classes) out-performed the 309 students who took the course during the three semesters prior to the introduction of the service-learning requirement. The advantage for the service-learning students appeared to stem primarily from stronger performance on narrative assessments (midterm and take-home final essays), and appeared to manifest itself only later in the semester. Analyses of students’ journals confirmed that students reflected thoughtfully about links between what they were learning in lecture and from course readings, and the hands-on experiences they were having at their service-learning placements. Discussion focuses on the parameters that appear to delimit the academic advantages of service-learning.


©2000 OCSL Press.