Date of Award

Spring 4-7-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Carol Riley, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Marilou Ryder, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Alan Enomoto, Ed.D


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to describe and explain middle school administrators’, teachers’, and coordinators’ observations and knowledge of the effect of service-learning on students’ personal growth, social growth, and civic engagement.

Methodology: This phenomenological qualitative study based its findings on in-depth interviews, transcripts, and participant artifacts. Six middle school administrators and eight teachers, and coordinators located in Tulare County, California utilizing service-learning in the 2017-2018 school year, or prior, were interviewed. An interview script, which was developed using the research questions, was used to elicit administrators’, teachers’, and coordinators’ observations and knowledge pertaining to the benefits and drawbacks of service-learning. The participants were digitally recorded and provided with a transcript of the interview to review for accuracy and to add to their responses, should they want to. Triangulation strengthened this study by providing valuable insight through data from interviews, transcripts, and artifacts.

Findings: Major findings indicate that service-learning positively affects the personal growth, social growth, academic improvement, and civic engagement and responsibility in middle school students.

Conclusions: Several conclusions were drawn based on the major findings, from which a list of implications for actions were created. One implication for action is for all elementary schools to incorporate service-learning into their curriculum, districts can begin using service-learning with younger students for maximum benefits!

Recommendations: Recommendations for further research are described in Chapter V, including replicating this study with different populations and perspectives to gain further insight and perceptions to the effects of service-learning.