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A qualitative investigation into the efficacy of the integration of service-learning into the curriculum for emotionally disturbed students as a means of fostering social/emotional well-being was considered in this thesis. Two separate service-learning approaches were used to observe the effects of service-learning on (a) school related behaviors, (b) academic performance, (c) positive shifts in empathic feelings, (d) improved self-esteem, and (e) individual locus-of-control.

Two case studies, one group and one individual, were completed over an 11 month period in two different service-learning environments. Participants were 12-15 year old boys with emotional disturbance. Data were collected using formalized pre and post-test assessment in combination with informal observational data and permanent products. Data was analyzed using visual comparison oftest results and qualitative analysis of observational notes.

Results demonstrated that an emergence in positive growth in both social/emotional and academic domains occurred after service-learning intervention and showed that students in both case studies were affected by the service-learning intervention in the areas of school-related behaviors, locus-of-control, self-esteem, and academic achievement. Data were inconclusive and vague when measuring empathy. More dramatic changes regarding the questions of this study were observed in the individually tailored service-learning case study.

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