School of Education


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Leldon Nichols


Civic Responsibility, Coordinated School Health, Mental Health, Service Learning, Transformational Learning, WSCC


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


The purpose of this single instrumental case study was to explore how service learning (SL) opportunities are perceived by participants to impact transformational learning (TL) experiences for students in Grades 6-12. The model used to support this concept was the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC), which views community involvement to be as important in the development of the child as traditional classroom instruction (Rooney, Videto, & Birch, 2015). The theory guiding this study is transformational learning (Mezirow, 2000). TL theory is a lens through which to view the learning experiences associated with SL. For this single instrumental case study, I examined the perspectives of seven students in Grades 6-12, five teachers, three administrators, six parents, and three community members affiliated with the students’ SL experience at one high performing charter school located in North Carolina. Data collection consisted of teacher, parent, and community questionnaires, student reflections of SL, individual semi-structured interviews, student and adult focus group interviews, observations, and document analyses. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded. Data analysis consisted of exploratory and descriptive coding, sorting, interpreting, and synthesizing of emerging themes using QSR NVIVO software.