Date of Award
Master of Science
Agriculture and Extension Education
Denise Brandon, Randol Waters
The purpose of this study was to identify benefits and challenges of implementing service-learning in Tennessee 4-H Youth Development. Furthermore, the researcher sought to describe any perceived differences among three subgroups: 4-H members, volunteers, and Extension agents.
A purposefully selected panel of 10 4-H youth, 10 volunteers, and 10 4-H agents utilized the modified Delphi Technique to generate and prioritize benefits and challenges of conducting service-learning projects in Tennessee 4-H Youth Development. Data were gathered through three rounds of questionnaires administered to the panel through the mail and/or the Internet. The first round of questionnaires asked panel members to generate lists of benefits and challenges of service-learning in Tennessee 4-H. On the second-round questionnaires, respondents ranked the importance of each benefit or challenge on a 9-point, Likert-type scale. Arithmetic means were calculated to measure importance of each benefit or challenge. Standard deviation was calculated to measure the degree of consensus reached within each subgroup of the Delphi panel. The third round of questionnaires provided panel members with their rankings and their subgroup's mean score on each statement and asked respondents to indicate why they disagreed with the ranking, if they did.
The study revealed that the three subgroups generated many of the same benefits and challenges of conducting service-learning in 4-H. Primary benefits included getting kids involved in community service; teaching youth responsibility, and commitment; and developing citizenship skills/civic responsibility. The most important challenges included coordination; working around everyone's schedule; and funding.
Mantooth, Lori Jean, "Benefits and Challenges of Service-learning in Tennessee 4-H Youth Development: A Delphi Study. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2004.