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ERIC Number: EJ932479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0380-2361
Community Forums: A Unique Approach to Community Service-Learning
Steiner, Sherrie; Warkentin, Buetta; Smith, Michael
Canadian Journal of Education, v34 n1 p282-307 2011
The service-learning movement has been criticized for not listening to the voices of community partners. Using Bourdieu's framework that equally values formal and practical knowledge, we evaluated a Manitoba college's service-learning program that focused on an issue of community concern. The program was uniquely designed to prioritize the voice of community organizations over the critical discourse of academic partners. Program structure was analysed and data collected from 24 of the participants using a questionnaire (response rate of 33%). Two variables were constructed, COLLABORATIVE and CRITICAL, to compare how formal and practical knowledge were prioritized in the service-learning program. The difference between the means of these variables obtained significance in a one-tailed t-test at the 0.01 level. Responses to open-ended questions about the event indicated that the program emphasized problem-solving, civic engagement, and the complexity of the issue under discussion. Results indicate the program's unique design successfully prioritized community voices, supporting other researchers' service-learning findings of tension between the academic discourse of rigor and the collaborative discourse of community development. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE). 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada