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China’s Popular Educational Activity: Does Social Practice Really Help Enhance College Student Learning Outcomes?

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Social Practice (SP) is a type of educational activity with “Chinese characteristic,” and it is widespread and accessible in China’s higher education institutions. This paper explores the features of Social Practice participants and the impacts of these practices on college student learning outcomes with quantitative data collected through the “China College Student Survey” (CCSS) Project. In particular, the paper examines three types of social practices (Academic Social Practice, Professional Social Practice, and Service Social Practice) and their impacts on student self-reported gains in knowledge, skills, and values. The study finds that: a) more than 70% college students have social practice experience, and another 26% intend to participate before graduation; b) engaging in social practice is statistically significantly correlated with self-reported improvement in all kinds of learning outcomes; c) the impact varies by the type of practices and student level of engagement. These findings suggest that it is beneficial for students to engage in social practice during college. Higher education institutions should provide students with opportunities to participate in different types of social practices.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Education, Tsinghua University chenle16@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn

10.1163/22125868-12340093
/content/journals/10.1163/22125868-12340093
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/content/journals/10.1163/22125868-12340093
2018-08-01
2018-10-18

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