Extra-curricular Activities and Students’ Character Development in Moroccan Higher Education: A Correlational Study
The present paper addresses the possibilities and the types of correlations between students’ extracurricular experiences and their character development in the Moroccan higher education context. The sample of the study consisted of English department students from different Moroccan universities, including some students from Al Akhawayn University and other higher education institutions. To answer the main research question about whether there is a statistically significant relationship between extracurricular activities and students’ morals, ethics, values and citizenship or not, mixed methods in data collection and analysis were employed. 220 students filled in the questionnaires and 17 students participated in three focus groups to study the correlation between extra-curricular activities and students’ character and elicit their opinions and attitudes towards such correlations. Results from the questionnaires showed that there is a positive correlation between extra-curricular activities and students’ character and character development. Focus groups results confirmed previous quantitative results and yielded interesting qualitative data as well. Overall, the research findings suggested that Moroccan policy makers, deans, faculty staff and teachers need not only to be aware of the importance of extra-curricular activities as well as the strong relationship these activities have with students’ character but also create opportunities for students to engage in different extra-curricular opportunities aiming at developing their character, morals, ethics, values and citizenship.