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ERIC Number: EJ864325
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Living the Ethics of Responsibility through University Service and Service-Learning: "Phronesis" and "Praxis" Reconsidered
Lukenchuk, Anotonina
Philosophical Studies in Education, v40 p246-257 2009
This article considers the notion of service-learning (SL) as essentially different from other similar activities, such as philanthropy, charity, voluntarism, or a single act of kindness which are "one-way" socially engaged activities. Service-learning is different because it necessarily entails reciprocity and mutuality which are "two-way" relationships. SL is about serving "and" learning--learning by doing, acting, affecting, intervening, problem-solving, reflecting, and acting again. The author's preoccupation with what constitutes meaningful university service, how much of it can suffice, and how it is justified has led this article to reconsider the nature of service with regard to its relationality. The author contends that service-learning should be taken into consideration as one, or even perhaps the most meaningful way to meet professional service requirements. Faculty service-learning engagement can certainly contribute to elevating the status of service in the education profession, and put it on a par with teaching and research. The author further contends that service-learning pedagogy models critical democratic praxis rooted in "practical wisdom" ("phronesis"), as opposed to "true knowledge" ("episteme") or "scientific knowledge" ("techne"). With regard to phronetic deliberations, the author examines service and service-learning by extension through the lens of Hannah Arendt's typology of fundamental human activities (labor, work, and action). The author argues that service-learning conceived as "vita activa," in Arend's terms, is an expression of plurality, people's collective social and political engagement, and an embodiment of critical democratic aspirations and practices. By juxtaposing service and service-learning, the author extends the arguments to the sphere of ethics by employing Levinas's "first philosophy." (Contains 36 notes.)
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A