A meta-analysis of the impact of service-learning on studentsJournal of Experiential Education, 34 (2) , 164-181.
For those seeking empirical data regarding the value of service-learning, this meta-analysis provides considerable evidence. Representing data from 11,837 students, this meta-analysis of 62 studies identified five areas of gain for students who took service-learning courses as compared to control groups who did not. The students in service-learning courses demonstrated significant gains in their self-esteem and self-efficacy, educational engagement, altruism, cultural proficiency, and academic achievement. Studies of service-learning courses that implemented best practices (e.g., supporting students in connecting curriculum with the service, incorporating the voice of students in the service-learning project, welcoming community involvement in the project, and requiring reflection) had higher effect sizes.