Service Learning Survey

Service Learning Project Options:  Analysis for Survey #2

A second survey was administered to a group of Mrs. Clark’s fifth grade students at Southside Elementary due to skewed results in the previous survey. The inaccurate results were due to a question format where students could write in an alternative community concern that was not addressed in the survey. The responses collected were invalid and therefore produced equal responses for the answer choices of “other” and “safety for senior citizens at home”. Some of the “other” ideas that were suggested were already reflected in the other answer choices for this question.

The new survey was a single question to follow up to the previous survey regarding personal wellness/safety. This survey question gave a bit more insight as to what the service learning experience might look like for each target area and eliminated the “other” choice for an answer. Mrs. Clark provided 19 of the same students to complete this survey. The results of this survey were quite different. Despite the 31% student response of ranking safety for senior citizens as being an important community issue, only 16% responded the same in this survey. 21% of the students surveyed supported the idea of mentoring younger students about safety on playgrounds, which was fairly consistent with the 19% result of the previous survey. In regard to concerns about youth sports injuries, the student response rose to 32% from 16% in the previous survey. The greatest change in student response was in the area of helmet safety. In the previous survey, educating others about the importance of using helmets was measured at a mere 3%. In this survey, 32% of the students felt that a bike safety day would be a community issue they would like to address. Given the combined analysis of the two surveys, I feel that the greatest impact for student learning and community service would be sponsoring a “Bike Safety Day” for students in our school and surrounding community. This service project would have an immediate scope for our school and community, but due to the fact we are pursuing the opportunity to be a Lighthouse School for Leader in Me, this project has the potential to have a state or national scope. Therefore, the continued design for this service-learning project will target using the issue of helmet safety in relation to personal wellness/safety to extend student learning beyond the classroom and into the community.



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Survey Results of Service Learning Poll: Analysis for Survey #1

On March 6, 2015, I created and posted a survey through Survey Monkey regarding my topic for service learning that targets personal wellness/safety. I petitioned a fifth grade teacher within my school for students who might respond to the survey. Mrs. Clark provided 32 students to take the survey and used it to connect instruction she was doing about opinion writing. The students responded over a two-day period. Analysis shows that service learning would prove to be a valuable learning tool as 69% responded they knew little about community concerns, 9% knowing nothing, and 22% knowing a lot. In regard to personal wellness, 81% of students answered they had given thought to the consequences should they make poor choices regarding personal safety. When asked if they thought personal wellness should be part of the school curriculum, 75% answered affirmatively and 84% responded that once they received instruction, they would have confidence in teaching others about the topic. Student response revealed some knowledge about personal wellness/safety. Survey questions were targeted to 4 areas: youth sport injuries, helmet safety, safety for senior citizens at home, and playground safety. The areas surveyed yielded a differing amount of schema while some showed a surprising lack of knowledge.

In regards to safety for senior citizens at home, the students showed an overwhelming amount of knowledge in this area. 91% of student responses indicated that students possessed schema that senior citizens’ awareness of movement and sense of balance are direct contributors to injuries at home. Likewise, 84% answered correctly that falls are the most common injury seniors suffer in the home. As predicted when designing this project, students did not have a strong connection to this area of possibility for service learning.

In the area of playground safety, 74% of the students in Mrs. Clark’s class felt that both community and school playgrounds should have the expectations posted on the playground equipment but were unclear as to whether younger students, specifically Kindergarten and First Grade, fully understand the expectations for being safe on the playground equipment; 41% of the students responded they were not sure, 34% felt younger students did understand, and 25% felt they did not understand. According to the survey, this area could be a targeted area for service learning with a scope limited to the school and quite possibly our community.

One area the students displayed a respectable amount of common knowledge about personal wellness was in the area of youth sports. When asked for a breakdown of where children play sports, student answers where a bit surprising. While I thought the majority of students would play in community leagues, the students responded that only 16% play in leagues through our parks. 50% of students responded that they play at home for fun, 9% play at school, 3% play in church leagues, 9% play in other organized/AU leagues, and 12% do not play at all. Similarly, 84% of students think it is important to have an understanding about the rules of a sport before being allowed to play while 16% did not. Not surprisingly, students had mixed reactions about the requirement for sports physicals for park and church leagues. Despite sport physicals being required for sports through schools, 52% felt that a trip to the doctor before playing sports for a community or church league should not be necessary. Students were also polled about where they receive instruction about protective equipment for sports. Of all survey questions given this group of students, this one revealed the most disturbing results. Responses to this question revealed that of the students who play organized sports, only 41% receive quality instruction about safety equipment from coaches and 12% receive no instruction about how to stay safe while playing yet when asked about the importance of being safe while playing youth sports, 91% agreed that safety is relevant. Service learning in this area could have a community scope and might prove advantageous in reducing sports injuries to youth in our area.

The last area to be analyzed was helmet safety. Of all the areas surveyed, helmet safety is indicated to be one where there is limited background knowledge and would prove to have the greatest impact in regard to a service learning opportunity. When asked, 59% of Mrs. Clark’s students reported not wearing a helmet when riding a bike, scooter, or skateboard while only 25% do. Students also felt strongly responding at 72% that helmet use should not be regulated and parents not be held responsible for injuries to children who are not wearing helmets while riding a bike, scooter, or skateboard.   However, when asked an overall question regarding rank of importance, helmet safety was the lowest at only 3%. Scoring higher in importance were reducing youth sports injuries at 16%, playground safety at 19 %, and safety for seniors and a category of other concerns were equally represented at 31%.

This survey, given the design of a single question regarding rank of importance where students could suggest any other safety concern, did not yield a definitive area to which the design could move forward. The “write-in” option of question #14 skewed the results. Given the results to the above ranking question of importance, a second survey was designed with a single question to better determine student voice. Please go to that survey for final analysis and comment about the direction of this service-learning project.




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