Table of contents(14 chapters)
Part I: Humanizing Pedagogy
Students from the new generation who enter a university belong to the so-called net generation and are digital natives (Selwyn, 2009). They are equipped with new technologies and expect that technology becomes a part of their education. The most concerning thing in our society is not about economic or social crisis but a spiritual emptiness and a feeling of hopelessness which are permeating the young learners of our society. There is a need for a rational value system that is based on humanistic values that need to be inculcated into the curriculum (Danica & Sazhko, 2013). With concepts like globalization and internationalization taking precedence, there is a need for advancement of knowledge, skills and competencies based on humanistic education (Blessinger, 2019). Humanistic education developed several decades ago as a reaction to unhealthy environments and exposure to detrimental conditions in education (Patterson, 1987). This book has authors from across the globe writing about theories concerning humanizing of pedagogy, exploring the impact of service-learning among undergraduates and emphasizing the development of responsibility to self and others, as well as the promotion of critical thinking, through pedagogically appropriate interventions. The intention of this book is to better understand the educational shift that is occurring in our society toward creating humanizing conditions though pedagogy.
Focusing on the theory of a humanizing pedagogy implies the building of an academic freedom in class to seek for students’ critical thinking and development. To achieve this aim, a qualitative investigation was carried out with 27 eighth-level Applied Linguistics School students who were undergoing their degree process at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in Esmeraldas, from 2018 to 2019. The teacher in charge of the subjects degree I and degree II taught the students with a humanistic approach, by means of which the students were encouraged to investigate the real problems on English language teaching (ELT) faced in their community, guiding the students to look for proposals to solve these problems. A humanistic theoretical approach was designed to lead the students’ research process taking into consideration three important dimensions: ELT contextualized assessment, ELT innovative intervention and ELT experiment projection. As a result of the process, 27 educative research projects, which mainly focused on free innovative didactic ELT methods, methodologies, strategies and didactic materials, were carried out with successful results for the ELT community in Esmeraldas, since teachers were provided with the necessary tools to get the students involved in the teaching–learning process to improve their English level.
This chapter provides a didactic analysis of a course-based service-learning research experience. The author explores undergraduate honors college students’ development of self-determination, co-determination, and solidarity vis-á-vis a Humboldtian theory of human bildung – cultivation of humanity. This particular analysis provides a case study for using course-based service-learning research experiences with undergraduate students in larger research-intensive universities. It provides students with an opportunity to learn and practice qualitative research methods and analysis, and provides time and space for them to make a difference in the world, which they seem so keen to do.
According to Nussbaum (2010), it is really important to develop responsibility and to promote the critical thinking, above all through pedagogical appropriate interventions. Education has to offer the instruments and pedagogical models useful to let people be able to participate actively to the building of a society taking into account the diversities and the resources deriving from them. One of these can be service-learning methodology where students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service. Literature documents that service-learning activities enhanced students’ problem-solving abilities (Conrad & Hedin, 1982; Goldsmith, 1996) social competence (Osborne, Hammerich, & Hensley, 1998), civic responsibility (Goldsmith, 1996; Zeldin & Tarlov, 1997). Starting from this theoretical framework, this chapter will describe the results of a case study analysis on the relationship between the capability approach and service-learning in higher education. In particular, guided by the capability approach of Sen (1987) and Nussbaum (2000, 2010), a qualitative analysis was conducted on students’ reflections on their service-learning experience.
The Open University (OU) United Kingdom manages two platforms for hosting Open Educational Resources (OER): OpenLearn, delivering the OU’s OER, reaching over10 million learners a year, attracting a mostly UK audience, and OpenLearn Create, reaching 3 million learners a year, where anyone can create and share OER, attracting a mostly international – non-UK – audience. Both platforms release OER using a Creative Commons license and afford accessibility to learning materials specifically catering to the needs of underserved groups, in other words, individuals or groups who may have limited access to education or continuing professional development (CPD) either as recipient or as educator. Using case studies, research data analytics and survey data, this chapter reveals how the approach to delivering OER on OpenLearn Create fosters community engagement and outreach across a broad spectrum of projects in a range of languages and format often to those with restricted access to professional development within organizations. The chapter discusses weaknesses in the platform’s usability for delivering online courses, but strengths and recommendations for its use as an adaptable project-based tool. Research data also reveal that where an institution is prepared to minimally support the provision of such a platform, the contribution to humanizing education for OER projects globally is great.
This chapter argues that promising opportunities for digital education in the humanist tradition can be found in college co-curricular programs that connect critical thinking, creativity, digital technology, and global writing to public service and community citizenry. In this chapter, digital literacy co-curricular programs, which in simple terms merge digital technology and public writing, are titled “digital activism” because they give students opportunities to bring their academic learning to real-world experiences in ways that are meaningful to students and that benefit the college community. This chapter presents an ethnographic case study of one co-curricular digital activism program at a small private Midwestern university. Information was collected from description of interactions with the program’s team as well as from scholarly literature on digital technology, digital literacy, and technology’s impact on young adults. This information provided valuable background and context to the study. The case study highlights the stages of the program’s development and the outcomes of the program after its one-year pilot initiation. Case study findings show that co-curricular digital activism programs can positively impact students by offering them the freedom to develop rich collaborations, the responsibility to make conscious, ethical choices about how they share knowledge, and a platform to teach their peers, as well as other internal stakeholders, about issues that matter to them. This chapter supports the notion that co-curricular digital activism programs can empower students to use teaching and learning to shape their college communities into vibrant places of respect and mutuality.
Part II: Community and Curriculum
Illinois has the fifth largest Latino population in the United States. A Complete College America (2011) fact sheet for Illinois reported degree attainment for Latinos to be 7% in comparison to 74% for White students. These educational disparities served as a catalyst for the community service collaboration that ensued between a Latino nonprofit organization and an activism researcher. From the perspectives of a humanistic educator, how the interweaving of social entrepreneurial principles together with Latino college success discourse led to the development of a culturally responsive college scholarship fund program and its offerings of financial resources, networks of information and natural mentoring relationships is explained. Reflections about a pathway for humanizing higher education together with 2013–2016 case study findings bring forward authentic voices of Latino community college students impacted by these student success initiatives.
The South Texas University this study examined is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) that has a 73.3% Hispanic (primarily Mexican American) population (Tallant, 2018 ). The logical consequence of education is the provision or guarantee of an equitable opportunity for all students to have equal access to learning and the achievement of academic success (Stewner-Manzanares, 1988 ). The basic definition of bilingual education in the United States is the use of two languages for instruction of the home language and English. Unfortunately, this basic principle is not accepted by postsecondary institutions as predispositions of university preparedness (Blanchard & Muller, 2014; García, Kleifgen, & Falchi, 2008; Kanno & Cromley, 2013; Lee et al., 2011; Menken, Hudson, & Leung, 2014). Mexican American students are potentially being left out of the opportunities afforded by the attainment of a postsecondary education because they are a language minority (Lucas, Henze, & Donato, 1990; Moll, 1990; Trueba, 2002; Trueba & Wright, 1981; Washington & Craig, 1998). Students are already examined for postsecondary credentials or college readiness, in the eighth grade (Paredes, 2013). Through this testing, 11 out of every 100 Hispanic children in the state of Texas are deemed as having attained postsecondary credentials (Paredes, 2013). As part of the fastest growing demographic group in Texas and the United States, the Mexican American population holds the lowest rate of graduation from postsecondary institutions and the highest high school dropout rate of any ethnic minority in the nation. In a 12-year study, Kanno and Cromley (2013) found that one out of eight English as a second language (ESL) or English language learners (ELLs) attain a bachelor’s degree from postsecondary institutions across the United States while the success rate for their English, monolingual counterparts is one out of three. Various researchers (García et al., 2008; García, Pujol-Ferran, & Reddy, 2012) argue that the inequity of education in the United States can be measured by how few minority students educated under the principles of education attend a postsecondary institution because it is the diploma from such institutions that leads to higher paying wages for the individual (García, 1991; García et al., 2008, García et al., 2012).
In this chapter, the author builds from foundational scholarship which suggests that service-learning yields positive outcomes for students, faculty, and community partners. The author first suggests that service-learning can be a vehicle for humanizing community partners as well as students, faculty, and course content, then describes a program evaluation context wherein community partners would benefit from a humanizing service-learning experience. The author then introduces the field of program evaluation and the foundational documents espoused by the American Evaluation Association, and looks at the organizational structure of the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, which houses the Evaluation Studies specialization. Next, the author presents a foundational program evaluation course, discussing its emphasis on service-learning and on humanizing the students, community partners, and course content, and introducing the textbooks, readings, and activities used to bring the experience to life. The author concludes by looking at opportunities and challenges to integrating program evaluation into a departmental core at other universities.
In this chapter, the authors discuss the process of embedding experiential learning in a required ethics and diversity course (ED200). The course is a model of humanistic education in which students develop disciplinary-based methodological expertise while also drawing on cross-disciplinary, inclusive, problem-solving skills. The authors suggest that in a course that challenges students to think about their lives in community, engagement with that community plays a critical role in humanizing the learning experience. This pedagogical emphasis on experiential learning, instantiated as community engagement, unites the foci of ethics and diversity through students’ practical application of and reflection on their experiences to enhance ethical and cultural self-awareness. In the process, it also fosters a desire for participatory and justice-oriented citizenship (Westheimer & Kahne, 2004). In what follows, the authors provide a history of the development of ED200. The authors then justify the inclusion of experiential learning in the course from theoretical and practical perspectives: Why is it valuable to include experiential learning in this course and how does it advance the goal of developing critically engaged citizens through improving ethical reasoning skills and actionable understanding of diversity? Last, the authors detail positive impacts and implementation challenges and indicate next steps for continued development.
- Publication date
- Book series
- Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
- Series copyright holder
- Emerald Publishing Limited
- Book series ISSN