Featured Travel Grant Award
College of Arts and Sciences
Conference: Gerontological Soceity of America
New Orleans, LA
November 20th - 24th, 2013
Topic: Student Response to Service Learning
The current study examined student responses to gerontology focused service learning experiences compared to a similar youth focused service learning experience. The results suggested that students working with older adults reported significantly more negative expectations related to the assignment but more positive experiences interacting with the service recipients. Working with older adults was also associated with more reports of learning benefits attributed to service learning.
- Service learning is a pedagogical technique that integrates traditional coursework with activities outside the classroom that meet needs of the community. Gerontology focused service learning has been incorporated into many courses that cover aging content.
- This type of service learning is believed to be beneficial to the learning process and to improve attitudes about older adults. Other research has demonstrated that service learning in general has benefits, regardless of the age of the clientele being served.
- Since most gerontology focused service learning research has demonstrated benefits with pre- and post-tests or comparisons with non-service learning control groups, it is unclear whether benefits associate with gerontology focused service learning are unique to experiences with older adults or are a product of the general benefits associated with this pedagogy.