International Service-Learning and the Development of Civic Identity: Understanding the Role of Short-Term International Service-Learning and its Influence on the Development of Civic Identity in College Students Using a Mixed Methodological Approach
Date of Thesis
Higher education has a responsibility to educate a democratic citizenry and recent research indicates civic engagement is on the decline in the United States. Through a mixed methodological approach, I demonstrate that the potential exists for well structured short-term international service-learning programming to develop college students’ civic identities. Quantitative analysis of questionnaire data, collected from American college students immediately prior to their participation in a short-term service-learning experience in Northern Ireland and again upon their return to the United States, revealed increases in civic accountability, political efficacy, justice oriented citizenship, and service-learning. Subsequent qualitative analysis of interview transcripts, student journals, and field notes suggested that facilitated critical reflection before, during, and after the experience promoted transformational learning. Emergent themes included: (a) responsibilities to others, (b) the value of international service-learning, (c) crosspollination of ideas, (d) stepping outside the daily routine to facilitate divergent thinking, and (e) the necessity of precursory thinking for sustaining transformations in thinking. The first theme, responsibilities to others, was further divided into subthemes of thinking beyond oneself, raising awareness of responsibility to others, and voting responsibly.
Civic Identity, Civic Engagement, Civic Responsibility, College Student, Identity Development, Service Learning, International Service Learning
Masters Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)
Master of Science in Education
Education - college student personnel
Joseph L. Murray
Richard B. Henne-Ochoa
Lassahn, Jennifer B., "International Service-Learning and the Development of Civic Identity: Understanding the Role of Short-Term International Service-Learning and its Influence on the Development of Civic Identity in College Students Using a Mixed Methodological Approach" (2012). Master’s Theses. 72.