March 2007


John Pantana

Primary Subject Area

Education, General


Education, Service-learning, Middle grades, Private schools, Leadership


Middle grades are a time of transition and development. It is during this time, as students move through grades 6, 7, and 8, that the development of life skills, especially for those who have leadership potential become increasingly important. Within these few years engaged learning and the pedagogical tool of service-learning enhances the meaning and impact of traditional course content and offers potential in helping to develop leadership skills in middle grade students. The purpose of this study was to provide evidence of the effectiveness of a community service-learning project as related to the specific development of leadership skills. The sample consisted of fifty-five eighth grade students divided into one test group and two control groups, based upon the Solomon Three Group Design. The pretest and posttest assessments made use of the four sub scales of leadership, self-confidence, cooperation, and citizenship from the Leadership and Personal Development Inventory developed by Carter (1989). Through a one-way ANOVA , no significant difference among the posttest scores of the three groups was shown at the .05 significance level. Thus, the null hypothesis, which stated that there was no significant difference in perceived self-assessed leadership potential among middle grade students who participated in a community service-learning project from those who did not participate, was accepted.