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ERIC Number: ED530418
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 263
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-3747-5
Try to Be a Hero: Community Service Learning as a Pedagogy for Moral-Political Education and Leadership Development in the Chinese University
Waite, Paul Daniel
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Based on ten months of ethnographic fieldwork, including more than 65 in-depth interviews with Chinese university students and higher education administrators, this study examines the roots of an emerging community service learning movement in mainland China. The dissertation focuses on a case study of a pioneering Chinese Party State-sponsored service-learning program at a leading Chinese university, and seeks to discover in particular how twelve Chinese university students experienced the process of service learning as participants in that program. The study also seeks to more broadly understand how the state purposes for and student experiences of service-learning in China might differ from those in the West. The findings suggest that service-learning in this setting was primarily utilized by the state as a pedagogy for the moral-political education of future Chinese leaders. However, the student participants in this program tended to make their own meaning out of the experience, and the outcomes they described and demonstrated differed substantially at times from the intended state purposes for the program in the areas of (1) moral-political education, (2) leadership development, (3) community development, and (4) social control. The study describes the moral-political engineering efforts of the state and the core tension experienced by these elite students who were simultaneously growing in their awareness of the need for moral and political action to meet China's social needs and their commitment to "try to be a hero" but who were also growing skeptical of the controlling agenda of the state. Qualitative analysis revealed student growth in commitment to moral values of service and patriotism, but also frustration with and resistance to the state's purposes, withdrawal from leadership roles, and other forms of civic disengagement. The "Source Program" students tended to make their own meaning of this program and, resisting the state purposes, utilized the service-learning experience to nurture their development in non-hierarchical leadership, critical thinking skills, and values of service and caring. The "Source Program" study raises questions about the potentially coercive aspects of service-learning, suggesting a need for further study of the underlying moral and political values that shape the practice of service-learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China