Facets of Service Learning in Higher Education: A Cross-Case Analysis of Diverging Conceptualizations
Role of Education and Pedagogical Approach in Service Learning
ISBN: 978-1-80071-189-1, eISBN: 978-1-80071-188-4
Publication date: 7 November 2022
A service learning (SL) course is carried out at higher education institutions in cooperation with community partners to facilitate the development of students’ civic engagement. It consists of several phases, including the identification of a social need; the development and implementation of a concept to meet that need; and, above all, the reflection of this experience. In practice, however, the concept takes different forms with diverging goals. In this chapter, we map out the framework conditions and institutional contexts in which SL courses are based at the University for Continuing Education Krems (Austria) and the Babes-Bolyai University (Romania). We focus on the extent to which SL has become integrated within the policy and practice of every university and illustrate how corresponding circumstances, such as specific characteristics of the faculty and the student population, lead to different variations. In some cases, that context does not support the articulation of a shared understanding around the purpose and practice of SL. We therefore draw on critical reflections collected through interviews with module leaders to describe courses with SL components from both institutions. Ultimately, more needs to be done within each institution to put in place the necessary resources and support systems for the articulation of shared understandings. Some of these challenges must be understood in a broader institutional context in which the courses are located, which is why we include general and specific recommendations to create favorable conditions for the institutionalization of SL in the last part of the paper.
Fellner, M., Rusu, A.S. and Pausits, A. (2022), "Facets of Service Learning in Higher Education: A Cross-Case Analysis of Diverging Conceptualizations", Sengupta, E. and Blessinger, P. (Ed.) Role of Education and Pedagogical Approach in Service Learning (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 46), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120220000046005
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