Is transformative learning possible in international service-learning?

H.Y. LAM, Liz JACKSON, Stephen C.F. CHAN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

Abstract

This qualitative study drew on Mezirow’s transformative learning theory to explore the impact of international service-learning (ISL) on transformative learning of students in one university in Hong Kong. The purposive sampling method was employed to select a total of 26 undergraduate students to be interviewed three to five months after their ISL experiences. Altogether, 31.3 hours of interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, and 35 reflective journals and final reports were received from 24 participants.
The result is comparable to the literature; 10 participants (38%) demonstrated that they had experienced transformative learning in their ISL experiences. Most of the transformations occurred in personal aspects, then social, cultural, civic and intellectual aspects. None of the students demonstrated spiritual transformation or experienced re- evaluating cultural or ethnic identity, even though these had both been found inprevious research. Over half of the respondents did not exhibit any transformative learning. However, according to Mezirow (2000), their reported gains and reflections are potentially transformative if accumulated over time. This indicates a need for further investigation and discussion.
This study adds to the literature by providing qualitative evidence of transformative learning in ISL in a non-western context. Copyright © 2019 The 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning (ICSL).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning, 10-12 January, 2019, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherICSL
Pages309-315
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Citation

Lam, H. Y., Jackson, L., & Chan, S. C. F. (2019). Is transformative learning possible in international service-learning? In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning, 10-12 January, 2019, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (pp. 309-315). Hong Kong: ICSL.

Keywords

  • Transformative learning
  • International service learning
  • Service learning
  • Student learning

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