Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

First Advisor

Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham

Second Advisor

Annette Trefzer

Third Advisor

William Sumrall


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



ABSTRACT The prevalence of high-stakes, standardized testing, along with the emergence of the ComCore State Standards has decreased teachers’ capacity to establish and implement authentic learning opportunities for students in 21st century secondary English classroom. In a progressive literacy environment, teachers must commit to real-world learning that allows students to navigate complex informational texts without sacrificing high curriculum standards. A number of qualitative studies reveal how service-learning has been used in various classrooms to address deficiencies in student motivation and engagement, which in turn, sought to increase students’ academic outcomes. However, few provide the quantitative evidence that administrators want to ensure that their investment in service-learning yields both the social and academic progress that supports high test scores and college-ready students. This mixed methods study presented both qualitative and quantitative documentation to demonstrate the impact of service-learning on high school students’ standardized English test scores and on students’ mastery of college-and career-readiness standards when combined with the ComCore State Standards. The results of this study confirmed that students who participated in service-learning mastered as much content material as the non-service-learning groups and acquired 21st-century literacy skills that will help them transfer classroom theory and ideology into real-world experiences that will allow them to compete in a global economy.



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