22 SES 11 D, Teaching and Learning: Practices and Experiences
At university level, service-learning is defined as the educational action wherein students, having identified a specific need, perform some form of community service, through which they improve their knowledge of a discipline and increase their sense of social responsibility (Skinner & Chapman, 1999; Bringle & Hatcher, 2000; Puig, 2009).
Service-Learning (SL) is an innovative educational methodology which has been associated, in its definition, application and development, with patterns of cognitive and social improvement of students in general and university students in particular (Ugarte & Naval, 2010).
However, in our opinion, service-learning should not strictly be used as a teaching strategy, for every occasion, when relating to the management of changes aimed at improving quality, student participation (active citizenship) and learning of academic and social skills likely to pave or strengthen the way to employment.
Although the evolution of service-learning in Spanish universities has been slow and reserved, the opportunities provided in our country can be attributed, to a large extent, to changes occurring on a supranational level. The progressive implementation of the EHEA has led to greater sensitivity towards projects focused on teaching improvement, competence-based learning and the importance of students' social and cultural capital in a global world (Santos Rego, 2005).
Different institutional documents are at our disposal, which set out the need for the university to incorporate teaching and learning practices into its training model, which adequately integrate preparation for professional practice and for the exercise of the social responsibility of its students and graduates (Ministry of Education, 2010). Specifically, the Status of University Student in Article 64.3 establishes that universities should encourage practices of social and civic responsibility that combine academic learning in different degree programs, while also providing community service oriented towards improving the quality of life and social inclusion. More recently, the Bucharest Communiqué (2012) has acknowledged the need to promote conditions that improve student-centered learning, innovative teaching methods, as well as a favorable and inspiring working and learning environment.
In any case, it should be acknowledged that during the past decade, in Spain, some steps have been taken aimed at SL surpassing the linking of initiatives of individuals and university innovation groups, and recognizing it as an education practice that is supported by more stable structures within the institution, which has already been raised in neighboring countries (Santos Rego, Sotelino, & Lorenzo Moledo, 2015).
Thus, the main objective of this paper is the study of the knowledge of this methodology among university professors, checking whether that degree of familiarity influences their teaching style. To this end, the research works considered for this study were those which grouped these styles into two models or approaches: teaching-centered orientation and learning-centered orientation (Gargallo, 2008).
At this point, it should be mentioned that the Bologna Declaration implies a clear methodological change in the teaching-learning process, with active and participatory learning-centered methodologies, which also involve a change in teachers' role. Therefore, the focus moves from unidirectional information to interaction, from simply knowing to 'knowing and becoming aware’, from the classroom to its connection to reality, from the exposure of problems to proposing solutions, and from individualistic working structures to more cooperatives models (Martínez, 2006).
Note:This work is supported by a research project funded through a competitive call by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, within the framework of the R & D State Program Societal Challenges: "Service-Learning and Innovation at University Level. A program to improve students' academic performance and social capital" (EDU2013-41687-R)
Bringle, R.G. & Hatcher, J.A. (2000). Institutionalization of service-learning in higher education. Journal of Higher Education, 71(3), 273-290. Gargallo, B. (2008). Estilos de docencia y evaluación de los profesores universitarios y su influencia sobre los modos de aprender de sus estudiantes. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 241, 425-446. Martínez, M. (2006). Formación para la ciudadanía y educación superior. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación (electronic version), 42. Ministry of Education (2010). Estrategia Universidad 2015. The contribution of universities to Spanish socio-economic progress 2010-2015. Madrid: Ministerio de Educación. Puig, J. M. (coord.) (2009). Aprendizaje Servicio (ApS). Educación y compromiso cívico. Barcelona: Graó. Santos Rego, M.A. (2005). La Universidad ante el proceso de convergencia europea: un desafío de calidad para la Unión. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 230, 5-16. Santos Rego, M.A., Sotelino, A., & Lorenzo Moledo, M. (2015). Aprendizaje-Servicio y misión cívica de la Universidad. Una propuesta de desarrollo. Barcelona: Octaedro. Skinner, R. & Chapman, C. (1999). Service-learning and community service in K-12 public schools. Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. Ugarte, C. & Naval, C. (2010) El service-learning, medio adecuado para promover la cooperación social. El caso del programa Create You Own Charity. En C. Naval, S. Lara, C. Ugarte, & Ch. Sádaba (eds) Educar para la comunicación y la cooperación social (pp. 263-281). Pamplona: COAN.
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