The Contributions of Demographic Background and Service-Learning Experiences to Undergraduates' Perceptions of Appreciation of Diversity

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2005-05-25

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Abstract

This study investigated how race, gender, academic class standing, service involvement prior to college, and type of service-learning program may relate to students' perception of the contribution of service-learning on appreciation of diversity. The data were collected from 290 students at the University of Maryland, College Park in spring 2004, from a locally-created instrument.

The findings revealed that there were significant differences in the reported contribution of service-learning to diversity appreciation between women and men and between freshmen and seniors, although there was no difference between races. Stepwise multiple regression indicated that aspects of class standing, type of service-learning program, race, and gender significantly predicted and contributed to the variance (8%) in students' reported contribution of service-learning to diversity appreciation. Further research should be conducted to better understand the role of race in this outcome as well as how practitioners can structure the service experience to enhance this outcome.

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