Reciprocity between student learning and the community being served: A study on the impacts of service learning pedagogy at a teacher education institution

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Service learning is a kind of pedagogy of experiential learning in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development (Jacoby, 1996). As one of the essential concepts of service learning, reciprocity has been studied to broaden our knowledge about the definition of the service tasks, people who control the service provided, and benefits for students and community, etc. This paper focuses on questions as such what benefits can be achieved by students and communities in a service learning program, what are key factors those enhance reciprocal benefits, and how both sides take into account the needs and demands of the other side. Three courses which have incorporated service learning strategy are selected as cases. Qualitative method is adopted to find out deep and detailed materials, specifically, interviews with all stake holders have already been conducted. Relevant documents have also been collected to better analyze and understand the cases. The paper comes to the conclusions that benefits for both students and communities can be observed, the matching between the genuine needs of the communities being served and students' knowledge and professional skills to be provided is the key factor to achieve benefits for both, and communication between institutions and communities on the tasks provided is very important and approaches to supervise students on site and in the class are also crucial for students to transform service activities to deep academic understanding and commitment to society.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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reciprocity
teacher
learning
community
education
student
learning strategy
qualitative method
commitment
communication
interview

Citation

Xu, H. X. (2010, December). Reciprocity between student learning and the community being served: A study on the impacts of service learning pedagogy at a teacher education institution. Paper presented at the 2nd East Asian International Conference on Teacher Education Research: Teacher Education for the Future: International Perspectives, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.

Keywords

  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG)
  • TDG project code T0076
  • Period: TDG 2009-2010
  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG) Output