Pre-service primary and early childhood teachers’ perceptions of a service-learning experience
Pre-service primary and early childhood teachers’ perceptions of a service-learning experience.
Issues in Educational Research, 31 (4), 1101-1120.
This study, which is a replication of three previous studies, explored the perceptions of pre-service primary and early childhood teachers who undertook a service-learning course as part of their Bachelor of Education degree at an Australian university. The practical component of the service-learning entailed 13 hours of community engagement where pre-service teachers were responsible for accessing their own placements. Data were collected in two stages. Stage 1 entailed pre-service teachers completing an anonymous 10 to 15-minute survey following completion of the service-learning placement. The survey contained both qualitative and quantitative questions. A total of 44 pre-service teachers from a cohort of 52 completed the survey. Stage 2 of the data collection consisted of examining pre-service teachers’ service-learning reflective journals, with 37 pre-service teachers volunteering their journals. The results indicated that pre-service teachers believed their service-learning experiences had positively impacted on their personal and professional development. They commented on characteristics such as enhanced confidence, greater empathy and compassion, respect for others, the ability to work outside one’s comfort zone, and the capacity to show initiative.
teacher education, Bachelor of Education, Australia, service-learning experience, professional development