n Education as Change - Writing partnerships : academic writing and service-learning

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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The shift in praxis in Higher Education from Community Service to Service-Learning opened new epistemic and pedagogical possibilities for research. Legislation in terms of the involvement of the university in the community, as well as initiatives by NGOs has led to a situation in which Service-Learning has penetrated the disciplines as well. The discipline under investigation in this article is Education, and specifically language teaching and writing instruction. The aim is to understand how the Service-Learning environment enables knowledge production by student teachers, as well as how the learning of these students in community service projects can be assessed comprehensively. The design of the research project was a narrative inquiry, and through focused group interviews data were elicited that explicated the learning activities of the students when they offered their language services in the form of writing skills to these community projects. This source of data was triangulated by analyzing the written work students did for and with the community, as well as their reflective writing on their experiences. The dominant narrative was that of students 'visiting a foreign country'. Although students were confronted with new writing genres, they saw the need for social action in and social critique of community work.

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