n Education as Change - Supporting academic staff as champions of service learning

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Over the past five years or more, the innovative, challenging educational approach of service learning has been introduced at an ever-increasing number of South African higher education institutions. In this article, the focus will be on the gap that exists between the rhetoric of a renewed focus on community engagement (and service learning in particular) and the reality of staff members' perceptions in respect of the lack of substantial support for their efforts. The distinction made by Kerry Ann O'Meara (2003) between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for staff to engage in service learning will set the stage for the discussion. In addition, O'Meara's suggested reframing of incentives and rewards from different vantage points (i.e. the structural, human resource, political and symbolic frames) will form the basis for the evaluation of data acquired through a service learning staff survey conducted at the University of the Free State (UFS). This institutional example will illustrate how the UFS has only recently taken the first steps on the road towards equitable recognition for staff involved in service learning.


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