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ERIC Number: EJ923736
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0912
University-Community Engagement: A Case Study Using Popular Theatre
Feagan, Robert; Rossiter, Katherine
Education & Training, v53 n2-3 p140-154 2011
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of popular theatre (PT) as a pedagogical tool around which a community service learning (CSL) senior undergraduate course was oriented, specifically assessing the university student learning experience from this work relative to PT processes and CSL objectives. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents a case study based on participant observations made by the course instructor, and reflective journal entries written by the university student participants. Research limitations/implications: Educational partnership efforts of this nature require that they be tailored to contingent circumstances: locale, time constraints, spaces of interaction, willingness, effort and abilities of the group partners, and other particularities of community. Given this, we see learning outcomes as replicable, though shaped in various ways by the circumstances of specific situations. Practical implications: The paper demonstrates that by recognizing and relying upon the often unnoticed and neglected, strengths of differently-abled community members--both students from the university, and the clients from the partner social agency--this kind of community service learning team project transforms and enriches traditional academic outcomes. Findings: This paper reports on the outcomes of this experience from the student perspective, and highlights themes of boundary-breaking, pedagogical risk-taking and changes in understanding of community through the analysis of the student service-learning diaries and instructor participation. It also highlights some specific difficulties regarding group dynamics and student concerns that can emerge under learning environments like this, where course expectations, direction and outcomes may not be clearly defined at the outset. Originality/value: This paper describes a unique fusion of two alternative teaching and learning methods: CSL and PT. This fusion contributed significantly to student creativity and innovation, to their sense of accomplishment and confidence, and especially to their understanding of diversity and connection to community, all of which they take into the world beyond the university. This fusion of pedagogies is seen as a fruitful direction for institutions of higher education seeking innovative paths to learning, while noting that facilitators need to pay close attention to the unique dynamics of such learning environments.
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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