Service Learning Limitations

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The limitations of a study are those characteristics or methodologies that may affect or influence the interpretation of the findings of the study (Ellis & Levy, 2009, p. 332). The current study explores social justice in the context of service learning in a multicultural counseling class. The themes emerged point toward the processes and outcomes of understanding social justice from a service-learning lens. Despite this case study design being intentional, holistic, and providing rich in-depth information, there were constraints.
The first limitation for this study is the size of the population for the study. Only six students from the multicultural counseling class participated in the current study. While the population sample approach
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The research findings of participants’ accounts and how they are examined, understood, and described were shaped in some way by the researcher’s biases and expectations. Steps were taken during this study to help ensure trustworthiness of the researcher’s account. These include member checking, obtaining feedback from external reviewers including a qualitative researcher and providing a rich description of participants accounts. The member checking was done with only two of the six participants due to the availability of participants after the data collection.
The fifth limitation is the absence of participants that contribute to students’ service learning experience. The service-learning experiences for students involve course work and connection to community partners. The researcher had limited or not contact with faculty member teaching the multicultural class and the community partners during this study. Subsequently, the limited or no contact with these key stakeholders prevented the researcher from obtaining additional and divergent perspectives relating to student service-learning experiences and understanding of social
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The participants from this study are selected from a particular institution and program accredited by CACREP. The researcher did not explore the unique experiences of other participants that could have emerged from non-CACREP counselor education programs. Also, the findings may vary from other service learning experiences depending on the structure of the experiences. These include the time spent in the service learning placement and the duration of the service learning. It is difficult to generalize the findings relating to the outcomes for all students service learning experiences. Thus, there exists a need for counselor educators to adapt these findings to the relevance of developing service-learning initiatives that fits their students’

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