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Research on Service-learning's (SL) impact on students' moral development has been "mixed." In this study, 46 students in SL and non-SL sections of comparable courses offered at a northeastern Catholic university completed the Defining Issues Test, the Moral Justification Scale, and the SL Outcome Scale at the beginning and end of a semester. Although scores on moral development and orientation did not change significantly, SL students reported becoming more compassionate and more sensitive, having a greater understanding of and ability to solve social problems, and possessing a greater efficacy to make the world better. While a single-semester exposure to SL may be too limited to affect moral development, participants' self-reported changes may be precursors to such developmental changes. Unfortunately, existing measures of moral orientation may preclude a thorough examination of change associated with SL. Future research would benefit from using tools that measure moral thinking and action, and under- standing of hypothetical moral principles.


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology


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