MclellanYouniss2003 - Journal of Youth and Adolescence,...

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Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 32, No. 1, February 2003, pp. 47–58 ( C ± 2003) Two Systems of Youth Service: Determinants of Voluntary and Required Youth Community Service Jeffrey A. McLellan 1 and James Youniss 2 Accepted April 11, 2002 Although an increasing number of schools mandate service, this requirement is seen by some as self- contradictory, especially in contrast to voluntary service. Looking closely at the service process, we argue that the categories of required and voluntary, do not in themselves convey the nature of service students might do with implications for the benefits they may derive from service. We report data from students in 2 high schools to support our case. Both schools required service, but one integrated it into the curriculum whereas the other left choice of service to individual students. Students in the former school were more apt to do the kinds of service that engage students cognitively and emotionally and involve them in reflection on politics and morals. Apart from fulfilling their requirement, many of the students also did volunteer service of the kinds that were potentially beneficial. These students were likely to have parents and best friends who also did service and to belong to churches and civic organizations that sponsored or encouraged service as part of an ideological commitment. The data support the idea that required and volunteer service can be usefully viewed as operating according to separate regimens. Nevertheless, both have the potential for yielding benefits when service is viewed as providing youth with opportunities to learn about systems of meaning through participatory action. From the viewpoint of educational policy, schools can help students most when they organize service strategically and integrate service into the academic curriculum. KEY WORDS: youth; service; development; high school; service learning. INTRODUCTION Community service is burgeoning in American schools.In1999,almosthalfofpublichighschoolsoffered formal service-learning programs that were part of the cur- riculum (Skinner and Chapman, 1999). That same year, 89% of sixth through twelfth graders attended schools that arranged service opportunities for them (Kleiner and Chapman, 2000). Some 5.1 million of these students were being required by their schools to do community service. These figures reflect a trend whereby more schools and school systems are requiring some amount of student ser- 1 Visiting Scholar, Life Cycle Institute, The Catholic University of America. He is also a third year law student at the George Mason Uni- versity School of Law. To whom correspondence should be addressed at Life Cycle Institute, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064. 2 Wylma R. Curtin and James R. Curtin Professor of Psychology, The Catholic University of America. He is also a member of it’s Life Cyle Institute.
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2012 for the course PYSC 521 taught by Professor Dr.zarrett during the Spring '11 term at South Carolina.

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MclellanYouniss2003 - Journal of Youth and Adolescence,...

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