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ERIC Number: EJ899294
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Not Serious Stuff? Service-Learning in Context: An International Perspective
Woolf, Michael
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v17 p21-32 Fall 2008
The broad enthusiasm for service-learning on U.S. campuses and in education abroad is an extremely welcome development. However, the status of service-learning is problematic institutionally and academically. It is frequently not located in mainstream academic departments or is seen as an incidental activity nor does it, for the most part, achieve parity of esteem with more traditional academic approaches. At the heart of this dilemma lies the fact that service-learning is "often little more than just institutional community service." Clearly, the emphasis must shift from service to learning if one is to achieve some strategic objectives. The debate about whether one writes about "service learning" or "service-learning" (the pesky issue of the hyphen) has to be about real substance rather than style of the endeavor. The strategic objectives for achieving this shift are to achieve parity of esteem for service learning with other academic courses and to increase it academic credibility. To create parity of esteem within academia, service learning programs need to be constructed in concrete and credible terms. It follows that the learning objectives have to be defined as precisely as any other aspect of a course of study and this can be done in two ways: through establishing both discipline-specific objectives and generalized learning objectives. In this article, the author describes both discipline-specific objectives and generalized learning objectives. He discusses the dangers and the benefits of (domestic or international) service-learning. (Contains 10 notes.)
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A