Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Learning to Serve, Serving to Live: A Study of Service-learning, Caring and High School Students with Disabilities

Dr. Patti Powell.

I explored meanings that high school students with disabilities make for themselves as they participated in service-learning. I did this by getting close to my research topic through the collection of archival information and data related to previous service trips, spending four weeks in the students’ classrooms prior to their trip observing and interviewing them, and spending time after the trip back in their classrooms reinterviewing and observing the students. Finally, I lived with the students for one week during the summer as they engaged in their service-learning project. This study yielded new knowledge as it relates to service-learning in the education of high school students with disabilities. It also showed that there are political and social implication inherent in service-learning that are vital for youth with disabilities. My study showed students with disabilities as educationally and socially capable and necessary members of society, people with talents and abilities needed by their communities.


Dr. Patti Powell  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Education Department
Trinity Christian College

I am an education and special education professor at Trinity Christian College and am pursuing my Ph.D. in Curriculum Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Formerly I taught hearing impaired students at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind in Tucson, Arizona and music at Elim Christian School.

  • Service-learning
  • Disability
  • Caring and altruistic behavior
  • High school students

(60 min. Workshop, English)