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ERIC Number: EJ803579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0560
Service Learning as an Expression of Ethics
Newman, Julie
New Directions for Higher Education, n142 p 17-24 Sum 2008
The demonstrated willingness of institutions of higher education to contribute to sustainable development is on the rise. Colleges and universities are attempting to integrate principles of sustainability into their operational practices, curriculum, and research priorities. Integrating sustainability into a university requires processes by which to reconcile a shared vision of a sustainable institution with the complexity, abstraction, and depth as well as the moral and ethical implications that sustainability purports. An underlying driver of this movement is that the graduates of these institutions, regardless of discipline, will be forced to cope with unprecedented environmental circumstances. Students enrolled in two- and four-year degree programs will face a new set of local and global challenges on entrance into the workforce. One way in which college graduates will become exposed to these global complexities is if their universities are prepared and willing to make difficult decisions and embrace the underlying principles of sustainable development. At the core of this challenge remains the fundamental question of how students will become exposed to these pressing issues and be educated to derive solutions. The National Wildlife Federation issued a report titled the "National Report Card on Environmental Performance and Sustainability in Higher Education" (2001). The report findings suggested that a variety of educational models have been developed that include degree requirements and interdepartmental minors to curricular integration and research opportunities. One area that is not highlighted but warrants further exploration is the applicable lessons learned and models of service learning pedagogy. Discussion on education for sustainability is not novel. However, what is unique is the opportunity to fuse existing innovative pedagogical models in a manner that responds to the desired learning outcomes related to sustainability. The purpose of this article is to explore how an existing pedagogical model known as "service learning" could be harnessed and expanded as a heuristic model by which to educate and engage students with respect to the complex nature of sustainability. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A