ERIC Number: EJ1120340
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Feminist Service Learning: Teaching about Oppression to Work toward Social Change
Seethaler, Ina C.
Feminist Teacher: A Journal of the Practices, Theories, and Scholarship of Feminist Teaching, v25 n1 p39-54 2014
Where is the connection between feminism and service learning? In which ways can they profit from each other? How can service learning be practiced at a religious institution that is often skeptical of feminism to bring the movement to the student body? How might this create a more effective form of service? For the purpose of this article, the author--an educator at a Jesuit university--defines service learning as meaningful service in connection with learning, reflection, and civic responsibility toward the strengthening of communities and bringing about lasting social transformation. She contends that service learning shaped by feminism offers a notably more effective path to reach these goals and to see social change as the ultimate goal of students' projects than approaches to service that do not explicitly promote discussion about and knowledge of systems of oppression, power, and privilege. In this article, the author proposes that feminist elements should also be applied to service-learning projects outside of the women's and gender studies (WGS) classroom. Preparing students by introducing them to a feminist understanding of oppression can help make service learning a more meaningful and productive experience for all parties involved. This article provides details of students' experiences with feminist service in the author's Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies course as a means of showing how they were able to make sense of their service specifically because of the training they received in feminist concepts.
Descriptors: Feminism, Service Learning, Social Change, Church Related Colleges, Authoritarianism, Power Structure, Resistance (Psychology), Womens Studies, Catholics, Activism, Assignments
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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