Date of Award

11-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

John Travers

Second Supervisor

Cynthia McCloskey

Abstract

Faculty in post-secondary educational institutions is directly involved in designing, implementi!lg and directing coursework components. The degree of the coursework's impact on student learning can be attributed in part to these instructional gatekeepers. Extensive research indicates that service-learning tenets incorporated into curriculum have enhanced student learning experiences. Nevertheless, faculty inclusion of service-learning curricular components in higher education remains marginal. The purpose of this research was to study post-secondary faculty perceptions, motivations, and concerns from three local institutions of higher education regarding the phenomena that attracts or deters faculty from participating in service-learning pedagogy. This study concludes that more than one third of faculty who do not incorporate Servicelearning has no knowledge of the pedagogy or do not know how to implement servicelearning project effectively. Others are reluctant to implement service-learning because of the perception that it is not relevant to their coursework or that logistical issues are overwhelming. Those who do service-learning state that while concerns exist; the benefits to all constituents far surpass any pedagogical hindrances. A Spearman rho test for analysis of the demographics of gender, rank, and tenure was performed for variances in faculty perceptions. By employing a mixed method approach, the researcher attempted to pragmatically study the problem through multiple lenses. An electronic survey was conducted and distributed to 2710 post-secondary teaching faculty in Monroe County, NY. Open-ended survey questions, focus groups, and interviews were designed to gather data from phenomenological experiences. These multiple research methods were interactive and humanistic in nature.

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