Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


School connectedness refers to a psychological perception among students that they belong and are valued as members of their school community. Service Learning is a teaching technique that combines community service with formal reflection and instruction. The aim of this quasi-experimental study was to examine the effect of service learning upon feelings of school connectedness among high school aged students. Participants were 10th grade students who took part in a five-week, on-campus service learning project. School connectedness was measured using the Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale (PSSM; Goodenow) as a pretest and posttest. Results were compared to a control group who received no intervention. It was hypothesized that the five-week service learning intervention would lead to increased levels of school connectedness; however, results of independent and paired t-tests indicated no statistically significant differences in school connectedness from pretest to posttest in either the treatment or control groups. Further research should extend the duration of the intervention, adjust the curriculum of the project, allow for participant choice of topic, and use more purposeful sampling procedures.