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It Takes a Village: Service Learning as Our Social Responsibility in Higher Education

Civil Society and Social Responsibility in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Curriculum and Teaching Development

ISBN: 978-1-83909-465-1, eISBN: 978-1-83909-464-4

ISSN: 2055-3641

Publication date: 23 June 2020

Abstract

Institutions of learning are charged with the social responsibility to prepare future professionals for the ever-changing demands of modern society. Universities should provide expanded opportunities for learning and may choose to do so in many ways. Service learning is one approach designed to provide an educational experience that fosters a deeper community investment through involvement and outreach. Service learning engages students in the community in order to help meet the needs of that community (Osteen & Perry, 2012). Universities have begun to use this as an experiential learning approach to prepare professionals to better address the needs of the local communities. Instructors can integrate these opportunities into coursework. As universities respond to societal changes, the infusion of service learning may be the method to do so. While providing benefits to the local community, students also experience growth through the use of these practices. Specifically, service learning activities serve to improve critical thinking skills and improve multicultural competency (Coffey, 2010). This chapter will explore opportunities for universities to integrate social responsibility into the curriculum. Case examples will be provided to showcase possible strategies designed to foster engagement. These examples highlight educational experiences, while also demonstrating contributions that universities can make to the neighboring community.

Keywords

Citation

Gibson, E.M. and Sandifer, M.C. (2020), "It Takes a Village: Service Learning as Our Social Responsibility in Higher Education", Sengupta, E., Blessinger, P. and Mahoney, C. (Ed.) Civil Society and Social Responsibility in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Curriculum and Teaching Development (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 93-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120200000021008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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