Transformative learning through service‐learning: no passport required

Phil Bamber (Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK)
Les Hankin (Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Publication date: 15 March 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore student learning within a local service‐learning initiative that forms part of an Education Studies undergraduate programme at an HEI in the UK with a history of international service‐learning programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper outlines the context for this form of community engagement in the UK and reflects on the experiences of student participants and the nature of their learning. Ethnographic research into the student experience of international service‐learning (ISL) provides a useful framework for this study.

Findings

This research draws on transformational learning theory to describe how students experience a shifting of their world‐view through service‐learning locally. It reveals that challenges to stereotypes and personal values, as well as other previously accepted presuppositions, in a domestic context, are not dissimilar from those experienced by students involved in international service‐learning initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

The framework presented here is used to explore the dynamic relationship between local and international volunteering and student learning. This particular case study has the potential to add to our understanding of critical pedagogy theory in practice.

Originality/value

This article presents evidence of the complexity of identifying transformative learning. In order to elevate the outcomes of service‐learning towards their transformative potential, the opportunities for learning that are afforded by such ventures must be pursued with vigour. The authors advocate a model of community engagement that embeds local service‐learning within the curriculum.

Keywords

Citation

Bamber, P. and Hankin, L. (2011), "Transformative learning through service‐learning: no passport required", Education + Training, Vol. 53 No. 2/3, pp. 190-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400911111115726

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.