n Education as Change - From notions of charity to social justice in service-learning : the complex experience of communities
|Article Title||From notions of charity to social justice in service-learning : the complex experience of communities|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Journal||Education as Change|
|Author||Carol Mitchell and Hilton Humphries|
|Publication Date||Dec 2007|
|Pages||47 - 58|
|Keyword(s)||Ambivalent nature of partnerships, Community's voice, Participatory approach and Service-learning|
ISI Social Science
Due to increasing popularity and widespread adoption service-learning is in danger of becoming a technical practice with a 'charity' oriented form of engagement with communities. The purpose of the current study was to explore a more 'justice' oriented approach to researching the effect of service-learning on the communities that serve as sites for this form of curriculum. This was attempted through, firstly, developing an understanding of how two communities (learners and schools) experienced a service learning programme run as a psychology module at the University of KwaZulu Natal, and secondly, exploring what the use of participatory techniques might be in service-learning research. The results revealed that participatory approaches to research with communities may be more suited to the complex context of service-learning than traditional non-participatory approaches. The effect of service-learning on the communities involved in the research revealed that practitioners need to move beyond notions of 'benefit' to explore the paradoxical and ambivalent nature of the engagement between higher education institutions and communities that are the object of service.
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