Studies have indicated that facilitating student’s interactions with people outside of their in-group is an effective way of increasing awareness of identity complexity and encouraging diversity acceptance. This article explores the efficacy of a service-learning course, focusing on community psychology, in increasing students’ awareness of identity complexity and diversity acceptance via 110 written responses. These responses were qualitatively analyzed to track students’ social identity complexity development and diversity acceptance between the first and final week of a service-learning course. Results indicate that service-learning experiences aid in the development of diversity acceptance such that there was a significant increase in the amount of students who demonstrated diversity acceptance in the final week of the course when compared to the first week. This study further supports the use of service-learning as a way to promote diversity acceptance. Furthermore, results indicate the need for continued research on the mechanisms by which service learning affects the development of students’ perception of diversity and identity development.
Garcia, J., & Harkins, D. (2014). Brief Report on Service Learning and Diversity Acceptance. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 4 (1), 1-11. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.merrimack.edu/phs/vol4/iss1/1