Community explorations: middle school learners making a difference
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Middle school learners navigate their lives at a unique time of their adolescent development. They are experiencing many social, emotional, physical and intellectual changes. Middle schools therefore, need to be responsive to these changes, by creating opportunities in schools where adolescent learners can engage in ways to meet their full potential, and have supports in place when this is a challenge. Community Explorations was created with the developmental characteristics of adolescents in mind. It was created to support a group of students who were not always engaged, by having them participate in community volunteer experiences, in which they would have the chance to experience a different kind of learning, while broadening the perception of themselves as learners. Using a qualitative research method with a narrative inquiry approach, my research describes the experiences of these students, and how working in and with the community, made a difference to their learning.