The purpose of this descriptive study was to describe the relationship between structured service-learning outcomes, through Maryland's replication models, and the attainment of employability skills for adolescents. Participants included fifty-five out of ninety-two service-learning coordinators and a panel of experts comprised of five key informants. The site of the study was the state of Maryland, which is divided into twenty-three counties and Baltimore City. Three data gathering procedures were utilized: content analysis of the four most frequently used replication models, a key informant rubric, and a survey of nineteen counties in the state.
A criterion sample of four models was chosen in which a minimum of seven service-learning coordinators used the model. The models, including Adopt a Wetland, Stream Restoration, Serving Seniors, and Kids Sew for Kids, were rated on the attainment of employability skills as measured by the competencies from the Secretary's Commission on Attaining Necessary Skills (SCANS). The reported service-learning activities and model objectives were listed and categorized by predominant themes. Data collected from the key informants and service-learning coordinators were coded numerically and descriptive statistics were utilized.
The findings indicated that employability skills were evident in the four most frequently used models: Adopt a Wetland, Stream Restoration, Serving Seniors, and Kids Sew for Kids. The Adopt a Wetland model showed men evidence of employability skills than the other three models. The Systems competency was least evident in all the models' objectives, outcomes, and lesson plans. The Information competency, which includes organizing and interpreting information, was most evident in all models as reported by the key informants and service-learning coordinators. Participating as members of a team was the strongest skill across all four models. Most of the service-learning objectives were school-based, but the reported activities were balanced between school-based and community-based activities. The exceptions were Serving Seniors in which all activities were community-based and Kids Sew for Kids in which all activities were school-based. The strengths and weaknesses of each replication model as they relate to the representation of employability skills are discussed and implications for the improvement of service-learning toward the goal of integrating employability skills are drawn.
Brodsky, Ruth, "A Comparative Investigation of Service-learning Models in Maryland: Student Outcomes in Relationship to Employability Skills" (2000). Dissertation and Thesis. 65.
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