The Impact of Community Engagement Within a Learning Community on Students’ Positive Development


Positive youth development recognizes the importance of addressing students' broader developmental needs through community engagement and empowering experiences with adults. This paper reports on a project involving secondary school students' engagement in an intergenerational learning community, alongside university students and older adults. Students were empowered to take an active role in planning and implementing a series of activities while being mentored by university students. The project which lasted for two years incorporated service learning and two cycles of action learning. This paper is on the second cycle. A total of 151 students from eight schools took part in this cycle and their feedback was collected through a questionnaire survey and focus group interviews. Results showed that students developed a better understanding of others and were able to learn from and work with other participants in the community. Moreover, they indicated improved self-reflection, enhanced organizational skills, and a strong sense of community engagement. The focus group interviews further attested to the positive impact of the project on students' personal growth. Apart from acquiring knowledge and transferable skills, students felt empowered and demonstrated changes in values and attitudes towards others and the community. These findings highlight the significance of involving students in learning experiences within the community and providing them with opportunities to undertake leadership roles in safe and supportive environments. This project underscores the importance of fostering community engagement among students and creating learning environments that facilitate their holistic growth.

Author Information
Atara Sivan, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2024
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the ACEID2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Sivan A. (2024) The Impact of Community Engagement Within a Learning Community on Students’ Positive Development ISSN: 2189-101X – The Asian Conference on Education & International Development 2024 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon