The role of international service learning in leadership development among students in higher education

Min YANG, Yun Yung LUK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper examines how undergraduate students’ leadership development may be facilitated in international service-learning (ISL) programs. Student leadership is defined as a relational process whereby students collaborate to effect change for the common good. ISL is organized social services engaged by students in overseas communities to address social problems faced by members of disadvantaged social groups, and to develop students’ competencies, such as leadership, intercultural understanding, and problem-solving. The study examined the questions: What were student leaders’ characteristics? How did student leaders’ characteristics influence the ways students’ negotiated leader-member relationships in ISL teams? How did leader-member relationships influence students’ perceived service quality and leadership development? Findings from interviews with students joining two ISL projects in Ghana and Thailand suggest that reciprocal leadership emphasizing all students’ leadership potential may be more productive in cultivating students’ leadership compared with locating leadership responsibilities solely to positional student leaders in ISL. By highlighting productive leadership characteristics identified from ISL projects, this paper offers practical recommendations on how to promote student leadership development in higher education.
本文探討如何透過國際服務學習(ISL)課程,促進本科生中的學生領導力發展。學生領導力乃是學生透過合作,為發展公益而致力於改變社區的一種社交性過程。ISL是學生在海外社區所開展的、有組織的社會服務﹔其目的為解決弱勢社群所面臨的社會問題,同時發展學生的領導力、跨文化理解能力、解決問題能力等技能。本文探討以下研究問題:學生領導者有哪些特徵?學生領導者的特徵如何影響ISL團隊中學生處理領導者與隊員之間的關系?領導者與隊員之間的關系如何影響學生所感知的服務質素、以及學生領導力的發展?本研究透過對前往加納和泰國的兩組ISL團隊的學生進行訪談,發現互惠式領導風格(即強調所有學生的領導力發展),比之將領導責任完全放在領導者身上,更能有效地促進學生領導力發展。本文的研究結果突顯了有效學生領導的特徵,從而為高等教育促進學生領導力的發展提供有力的參考意見。 Copyright © 2017 The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-171
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Volume20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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Citation

Yang, M., & Luk, Y. Y. (2017). The role of international service learning in leadership development among students in higher education. The Journal of Youth Studies, 20(1), 156-171.

Keywords

  • International
  • Service-learning
  • Undergraduate students
  • Student leadership
  • Leadership style
  • Leader-member relationship
  • 國際服務學習
  • 本科生
  • 學生領導力
  • 領導風格
  • 領導者與隊員關系
  • Alt. title: 國際服務學習在促進高等教育學生領導力發展中的作用