|dc.description.abstract||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.||