Exploring Ontario's community service requirement
Reid, Steven Dennis
Master of Education
SubjectStudent volunteers in social service Ontario.
Community and school Ontario.
Student service Ontario.
MetadataShow full item record
The thesis examines the community service requirement in Ontario high schools. As part of the new curriculum, there has been very little research examining the nature of the community service hours. A case study of a small town in southern Ontario was used in order to gather information on the issue. Students, teachers, parents, community organizations and the principal of the high school were examined in order to gain an understanding o f all aspects of the community service requirement and the interplay between each group. The study found support for the new initiative. Over half of the students, both teachers, 20 of the 26 parents, four of the five community organizations and the principal all supported the policy and its continuance in the future. The literature dealing with mandated community service programs suggested that the students’ intentions to volunteer after graduation would be decreased. However, this study found that 65% of students intended to volunteer after graduation. This is a significant discrepancy with the literature. Other findings include that a majority of students believe that their volunteer experience will help them gain employment and have a direct benefit on the community. The study concludes by making recommendations for the future of the policy. It is recommended that a policy coordinator be assigned to increase the effectiveness of the policy. In order to increase the academic benefit to students, critical reflection activities need to be encouraged and organized. Students need to be given more assistance in finding valuable placements. Primarily, community organizations need to be screened and possible opportunities for student volunteers need to be advertised to students. Overall, there needs to be more communication established between the local high schools and the community regarding the student volunteers. The community service requirement was found to have many benefits to students. However, with the recommendations in this thesis, the policy could become more effective and have a greater positive impact for all students.