03 SES 09 A, Curriculum Reform and Evaluation
The aim of this presentation is to explore secondary students’ experiences and attitudes with respect to community service. The subject is especially relevant because Hungary introduced school community service in 2011, which has not been studied in Hungary extensively. International research findings reveal that service-learning and community-service are effective pedagogical programme within and outside Europe (Bekkers 2009, Vonk 2011, Dokter 2011, Baltes–Seifert 2010, Zentner 2011). In Hungary, secondary students must spend 50 hours in community service at a public, municipal, non-governmental, or non-profit organisation which has signed an agreement of cooperation with the school. As of 1 January 2016, students can only be awarded the secondary school leaving certificate if they have documentation on fifty hours of community service. Consequently, since 2016, the criteria for graduating from secondary school include a non-academic element.
According to findings by Handy et al. (2010), voluntary activity in secondary education has a positive impact on volunteering in higher education. However, they also emphasise that more young people take part in volunteering in countries where it is regarded as a strong and positive signal by employers. The evolution in the propensity for and commitment to volunteering during adolescence is examined by Anne A. J. van Goethem et al. (2012) and Elisabetta Crocetti, Parissa Jahromi, and Wim Meeus (2012). Both studies conclude that the older individuals are, the likelier it is that they participate in voluntary tasks, the more efficient they are in these tasks, and, finally, the stronger their drive to contribute to societal development. Astin and Sax (1998) find that service-learning causes students to become more committed in helping others and serving the community, and to join voluntary or non-governmental organisations with a higher probability. By analysing the effect of service-learning on volunteering among members of Generation Y, Burns (2011) corroborates the hypothesis that participation in service-learning increases the motivation for subsequent volunteering. Most young people believe that service-learning is useful in the future and is able to prepare them for subsequent volunteering.
It is apparent that community-service has a positive effect on volunteering. It would also be important to examine whether school community service in Hungary is able to induce subsequent voluntary activity. Previous findings reveal that young people in Hungary can be characterised mostly by mixed motivations (Fényes 2015). Therefore, it is crucial to investigate the type of volunteering which is increased by school community service; that is to say, it is traditional, altruistic motivations which are reinforced or rather individualistic, modern motivations for volunteering.
Our research seeks answer to the question whether motivation for volunteering increases, and which type of motivation can be observed among students after community service. Based on findings by Astin and Sax (1998), we hypothesise that subsequent to community service, students become more motivated towards volunteering, and motivations for volunteering shift in the direction of altruism.
We explored the experiences associated with school community service through qualitative methods. To measure the effect of community service accurately, we conducted a longitudinal study of participants’ attitudes towards volunteering before and after their service. Our sample selection was based on the Public Education Information System of the Office for Education. From this database, we selected all institutions in a smaller town in Hungary which offered a secondary school leaving certificate in the academic year 2015/16. In this city the volunteering rate is higher than the Hungarian average. Of 23 eligible institutions, 12 allowed the survey to be carried out. Using purposive sampling, we selected a class in Grade 9 from each school. All students from the class responded. If possible, the largest class in the cohort was elected. Our sample includes six classes from secondary grammar schools and six from secondary vocational schools. In total, 324 students (from either a secondary grammar school or a secondary vocational school) responded. In the first half of the academic year 2018/19 the same classes were surveyed. Due to attrition and school changes, only 265 students responded in the academic year 2018/19. To investigate present and subsequent volunteering, we created a composite variable. This allowed us to explore the evolution of students’ attitudes towards volunteering (dependent variable) between Grades 9 and 12 as a function of background variables. Our linear regression model included gender, students’ place of permanent residence, school type (secondary grammar school or secondary vocational school), (objective and subjective) financial situation, religiosity (individual, social, membership in a small community), and average grades.
In this research, we investigated whether school community service in Hungary caused students to become more committed to help others, and whether their subsequent volunteering increased. Although studies carried out in higher education show that young people today are characterised by volunteering of modern and mixed motivations, we hypothesised that school community service could shift motivations in the direction of altruism. Findings from the longitudinal study show that somewhat less than a quarter of students did voluntary work besides school community service, and a similar fraction planned to participate in subsequent voluntary activity. Although we found no evidence for increased propensity for volunteering as a result of school community service, it can be concluded that students were not discouraged from volunteering despite the compulsory nature of the service. We also observed that motivations with respect to volunteering shifted towards altruism, since the motivation to help others rose from Grade 9 to 12. At the same time, the individualistic motive of learning about new cultures significantly diminished. Furthermore, we found that volunteering attitudes are positively affected by high individual cultural capital and religiosity. The positive relationship between religiosity and volunteering is well-documented in the literature; our contribution is the novel finding that community service further elevates the importance of helping others among religious people.
A. J. van Goethem, Anne – Van Hoof, Anne – A. G. Van Aken, Marcel – A. W. Raaijmakers, Quinten – Boom, Jan & Orobio de Castro, Bram (2012): The role of adolescents’ morality and identity in volunteering. Age and gender differences in a process model. Journal of Adolescence, 35. 509-520. Astin, Alexander. W. & Sax, Linda. J. (1998): How Undergraduates Are Affected by Service participation. Journal of College Student Development, 39(3), 251−263. Baltes, Anna Maria & Seifert, Anne (2010): Germany: Service learning in its infancy. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(5), 33–34. Bekkers, René (2009): A new national service learning program in the Netherlands Preliminary Evidence. Forum 21. European Journal on Child and Youth Research, 3. 62–68. Burns, David. J. (2011): Motivations to volunteer and benefits from service learning: an exploration of marketing students. Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education, 18. 10-23. Crocetti, Elisabetta–Jahromi, Parissa & Meeus, Wim (2012): Identity and civic engagement in adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 521–532. Dokter, Betsy (2011): Civic internships for secondary school students and Fotorally: an opportunity to develop European citizenship. :http://ims.mii.lt/ims/konferenciju_medziaga/IFIP_2011/text/short%20papers%20in%20pdf/doktor.pdf Last Access: 09 12 2020. Fényes, Hajnalka (2015): Önkéntesség és új típusú önkéntesség a felsőoktatási hallgatók körében. [Volunteering and a new type of volunteering among higher education students.] University Press, Debrecen 9-46. Handy, Femida–Cnaan, Ram A.–Hustinx, Lesley,–Kang, Chulhee,–Brudney, Jeffrey. L.–Haski-Leventhal, Debbie–Holmes, Kirsten–Meijs, Lucas C.–Pessi, Anne Birgitta,–Ranade, Bhagyashree–Yamauchi, Naoto & Zrinscak, Sinisa (2010): A Cross-Cultural Examination of Student Volunteering: Is It All About Résumé Building? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 39(3), 498–523. Vonk, Adriaan (2011): Aprendizaje de Servicio. Barcelona.. http://www.aprenentatgeservei.org/intra/aps/documents/presentacio_Adriaan_Vonk.pdf Last Access: 09 12 2020. Zentner, Sandra (2011): “Lernen durch Engagement” - Service-learning in German schools. A promising way to get youth involved – in active learning and in civic engagement. Publication of the network “Lernen durch Engagement“. Weinheim: Freudenberg Foundation. 17.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.