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ERIC Number: EJ1126402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-3297
Reciprocal and Scholarly Service Learning: Emergent Theoretical Understandings of the University-Community Interface in South Africa
Smith-Tolken, Antoinette; Bitzer, Eli
Innovations in Education and Teaching International, v54 n1 p20-32 2017
This study addresses underlying principles to interpret scholarly-based service-related teaching and learning. Such principles include addressing specific concerns of communities, transforming theoretical knowledge into lived experiences for students, making the knowledge generated within communities meaningful and forging constant growth and learning gain for both students and community members (CMs). Following a grounded theory design, academic staff members, students, community organisation representatives and CMs were involved in service-related projects. These projects involved a South African research-led university which engages with its local communities--some evolving from destitute positions. Seven academic modules from six faculties were analysed over a period of two consecutive years. Results opened up new perspectives on service learning, a concept previously mainly researched as an inward-looking inquiry or implicitly embedded in curricula. New student attributes are suggested which include scholarliness (including taking a stronger research view on undergraduate work) and reciprocity (i.e. students not only learning in communities but also from communities and vice versa). Such innovative emphases on student attributes open up fresh meanings and theory for community engagement and university curricula--particularly in the context of a developing country.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A