15 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Exhibition
General Poster Session during Lunch
Purpose and Framework
This study was phenomenological qualitative project designed to describe faculty experiences incorporating service learning in their instruction. Service learning (SL) has become an increasingly widespread pedagogical approach in North American colleges and universities (Eyler, Giles, Stenson, & Gray, 2001). Its importance is also evident in South America and Europe where it continues to contribute to development of a civil society and increase student involvement. The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (2011) provides this SL definition: the integration of “meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities”. For this study, SL is defined as “a pedagogical approach that integrates community service with academic study to promote student reflection, critical thinking, and creative problem solving” (Plummer, Buchanan, Kennedy, Rouse, & Pine, 2011, p. 60). The purpose is to describe faculty motivations and desired learning outcomes when SL is incorporated as a pedagogical approach.
A variety of disciplines utilize SL to aid students in areas such as ethical development, civic engagement, workplace skill development, and cultural awareness (Cashman & Seifer, 2008; Einfeld & Collins, 2008; Howard, 1998; Kenworthy-U’Ren, 2003). The growth of SL has resulted in numerous publications on its pedagogy, including a series on SL disciplines by the American Association for Higher Education, as well as many other service-learning journals, essays, and collections (Stanton, Giles, & Cruz, 1999).
One form of SL, experiential SL, is rooted in John Dewey’s constructivist approach (Dewey, 1976). In experiential SL, students are actively engaged with their environment or community and learn through service activities (Plummer, Buchanan, Kennedy, Rouse, & Pine, 2011). Another form of SL is aimed at inciting social change and class-consciousness, and requires students to enter into and examine oppressive power structures and societal inequalities (Einfeld & Collins, 2008). Both approaches are consistent with SL pioneers’ desires to combine education and service as an instrument to meet the demands of increasing societal needs (Stanton, Giles, & Cruz, 1999).
Service learning as experiential education is embedded in John Dewey’s theory that character is formed through social experiences (Dewey, 1976). Boisvert (1998) examined how Dewey believed the “democratic ideal is a social one, it seeks to promote a way of life that provides the optimal conditions for living together…the moral end of schooling is to develop habits that encourage working together well with others” (p. 111). Through SL, students learn new and hone established skills through collaborative, community engagement. Similarly, Vygotsky and Cole (1978) developed the “zone of proximal development,” which described how SL offers students the opportunity to connect with others and learn about themselves while learning how to work with others. Boisvert (1998) also posited how the classroom fails to mimic the world outside, thus strengthening the case for experiential SL that takes students outside the traditional classroom. Despite these comprehensive theoretical frameworks for SL, a limited body of literature surrounding faculty use exists (Anderson, Swick, & Yff, 2001) even as the practice becomes more widespread in Europe and North and South America.
References Anderson, J. B., Swick, K. J., & Yff, J. (Eds.) (2001). Service-learning in teacher education: Enhancing the growth of new teachers, their students, and communities. Corporation for National Service, Washington, DC.: Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Boisvert, R. D. (1998). John Dewey rethinking our time. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Dewey, J. (1976). The school and society. In J. Boydston (Ed.), John Dewey: The Middle Works, Volume 1 (pp. 1-109). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Einfeld, A., & Collins, D. (2008). The relationships between service-learning, social justice, multicultural competence, and civic engagement. Journal of College Student Development, 49(2), 95-109. Eyler, J., Giles, D. E., Jr., Stenson, C. M., & Gray, C. J. (2001). At a glance: What we know about the effects of service-learning on college students, faculty, institutions, and communities, 1993-2000 (3rd ed.). Providence, RI: Campus Compact. Howard, J. P. F. (1998). Academic service learning: A counternormative pedagogy. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 72, 21-29. Kenworthy-U’Ren, A. (2003). Service-learning and negotiation: Engaging students in real-world projects that make a difference. Negotiation Journal, 19(1), 51-63. National Service-Learning Clearing House (2011). What is service-learning? Retrieved from http://www.servicelearning.org/what-service-learning Plummer, C., Buchanan, T., Kennedy, C. B., Rouse, L., & Pine, J. (2011). Broadeningperspectives: A multidisciplinary collaborative teaching and learning experience. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 4(1), 60-69. Stanton, T., Giles, D., & Cruz, N. I. (1999). Service learning: A movement’s pioneers reflect on its origins, practice, and future. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Vygotsky, L., & Cole, M. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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