An assessment of superintendents' perceptions toward implementation of service-learning in Iowa public schools

Brookins-King, Jennifer
Major Professor
William K. Poston, Jr.
Committee Member
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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

The purpose of the study was to determine and appraise the nature and character of superintendents' perceptions toward implementation of service-learning in Iowa public schools. Specifically, it explored the perceptions of superintendents about the application of service-learning, what factors these administrators perceive as important for successful program integration, and the value of service-learning for future planning. Survey research was the methodology utilized in this study. The researcher used quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data for this study: a survey instrument and personal interviews.;The random sample selected for this study consisted of 100 Iowa public school superintendents. Superintendents from 90 school districts responded to the survey. Three instruments were unidentifiable, leaving 87 surveys for use in the data analysis. Respondents were asked to rate their level of agreement on statements regarding the implementation of service-learning. The respondents' responses were computed using means, frequencies, and percentages. A MANOVA was performed to determine and examine differences in the superintendents' perceptions.;Ten superintendents were chosen randomly from the respondents to the survey to participate in a telephone interview. Respondents were asked additional questions pertaining to the implementation of service-learning. The questions were designed to provide more in-depth information regarding service-learning and the respondents' attitudes and perceptions. The qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis. This procedure was used to identify general themes and categories that describe the data.;The findings of this investigation revealed that superintendents have a considerable interest and commitment in implementing serving-learning. The results indicate that the superintendents perceive service-learning as a credible source for teaching and learning. Key findings include: the majority of the superintendents rated the statements about implementing service-learning positively and the superintendents believe there are multiple factors critical to successfully implementing service-learning. These factors include a commitment and involvement from staff, students, and community, time for planning and conducting projects, as well as funding to support program related costs.