ERIC Number: ED404692
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Implementing a Reciprocal Dimension to Service Learning: Participatory Research as a Pedagogical Enterprise.
To educate young people to be productive citizens and to ensure that the democratic objective of equality is realized, service learning must adopt an alternative paradigm that promotes the ideals and values of participatory democracy. Three problematic assumptions of service learning are that (1) good citizenship requires students to "give" back to their community; (2) good citizenship involves performing service that remediates the "needs" of others; and (3) the conceptualization of service as a form of charity. These assumptions result in service learning practices that create a bifurcation between the student and the recipient where the position and voice of the student is privileged and the knowledge and the experience of the recipient of service is devalued. A more equitable paradigm for a democratic education component of service learning is one that blurs the distinction between students and service recipients and implements a reciprocal dimension to the learning process. This paradigmatic shift reflects the assumptions and goals of participatory research which include the notions of collaboration, self-reflectivity by all participants, and mutual empowerment. As pedagogical praxis, participatory research teaches the ideals and values of a participatory democracy to all service learning partners. (Contains 28 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (82nd, San Diego, CA, November 23-26, 1996).