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ERIC Number: EJ923732
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0912
Now for the Science Bit: Implementing Community-Based Learning in Chemistry
McDonnell, Claire; Ennis, Patricia; Shoemaker, Leslie
Education & Training, v53 n2-3 p218-236 2011
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of student learning from community engagement by critically assessing the implementation of this pedagogical approach in the context of teaching and learning chemistry and also evaluating the role of personal development in student-community engagement. Design/methodology/approach: A case study on the implementation since 2007 of community-based learning (also called service-learning) projects in an academic department in Ireland is presented. Analysis of assessment grades, student reflective accounts and evaluation questionnaires informs this work, as does a recently completed self-assessment of our activities using Shumer's Self-Assessment for Service-Learning. Findings: A marked improvement in student engagement and confidence, and their appreciation of how their subject is applied in real-world situations, is reported. Some difficulties arise however, in relation to the level of critical thinking and self-awareness evident in reflective writing assignments, as the students were generally not experienced in reflection on personal experiences. The extent to which it has been demonstrated that genuine community needs are being met is also an issue in some instances. Originality/value: The paper describes some innovative practices, as CBL is not well established in the discipline concerned, chemistry, and it has also not often been applied to the benefit of small local businesses. A critical analysis of the process followed when CBL activities were implemented in an institution without an existing, well-established culture of applying this pedagogical approach is provided, as this is a perspective not often explored in the literature. (Contains 6 tables and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland