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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2021

Jonas Johannisson and Michael Hiete

This study aims to share experiences of an easy to adapt service-learning approach in a graduate course on life cycle assessment (LCA). Specifically, it reports on how…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to share experiences of an easy to adapt service-learning approach in a graduate course on life cycle assessment (LCA). Specifically, it reports on how students helped the university’s cafeteria to assess meals by conducting an LCA for 25 meals and identifying environmental hotspots.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive case study of a graduate course at Ulm University is presented. The course included lectures and problem-based exercises, both theoretical and software assisted. A course evaluation was conducted during the course and one year after completion to poll improvement potentials, as well as its impacts on students’ everyday life.

Findings

It was found that although it was the first LCA for all students, the resulting LCA information of 25 different meals were homogeneous, comparable to the scientific literature and beneficial to the cafeteria’s sustainable development strategy. The concept of service-learning had a higher impact on students’ motivation than a good grade and active-learning is explicitly requested by students. The course design sensitized students to the real-life problems of LCA and made their consumption patterns more elaborate and ecological. Furthermore, this digitization of higher education could be carried out with only minor changes in the present COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Originality/value

As the subject of service-learning in natural sciences is still expandable, this study presents an easy to adapt case study on how to integrate such an approach into university curricula dominated by traditional learning. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this case study presents the first published LCA university course explicitly describing and evaluating a service-learning approach. The topic touches the everyday lives of students, allows comparisons between different student groups, is easily scalable to different group sizes and credits, and supports learning both how to study in small groups and cooperation between groups to ensure comparability of LCA results.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2017

Dianne Chambers

Teachers are increasingly required to include students with disabilities in mainstream classroom settings. In order to effectively prepare pre-service teachers to address…

Abstract

Teachers are increasingly required to include students with disabilities in mainstream classroom settings. In order to effectively prepare pre-service teachers to address the needs of all students in the classroom, including students with disabilities, teacher-training programs must utilise effective pedagogy. Service-learning has been shown to be an effective pedagogy to employ to address the knowledge/learning needs of pre-service teachers. This chapter will build upon the use of service-learning to increase knowledge and will discuss the importance and practice of also developing positive attitudes towards students with disabilities. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (Azjen, 2002) is utilised as a basis for developing the service-learning program, and exemplifies three main elements as being necessary to bring about behavioural change: behavioural beliefs, normative beliefs and control beliefs. The pre-service teachers described in this chapter are completing a special education specialisation at a tertiary institution, and are required to complete a service-learning unit as a component of the specialisation. Reflection, an important requirement for service-learning programs, allows the researcher to determine if the goals of the program have been met, and how these outcomes relate to the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the potential they may have to bring about behavioural change for the pre-service teachers. Six main themes were identified in the pre-service teacher reflections. These themes were further divided into two main categories: affective (empathy, personal growth, confidence); and cognitive (knowledge, skill development, enhanced professional practice). Links between the pre-service teacher reflections and the Theory of Planned Behaviour suggest that the service-learning experience is beneficial for developing pre-service teachers who are more inclined to address the needs of students with disabilities.

Details

Service-Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-185-8

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2017

Shane Lavery, Anne Coffey and Sandro Sandri

This chapter explores the value of a service-learning unit within a pre-service secondary teaching course. It does so through the perceptions of pre-service teachers. The…

Abstract

This chapter explores the value of a service-learning unit within a pre-service secondary teaching course. It does so through the perceptions of pre-service teachers. The purpose was to determine the potential of a service-learning program to prepare pre-service secondary teachers for the classroom, both personally and professionally. The context for the research is a social justice service-learning unit offered to pre-service secondary teachers undertaking a Bachelor of Education, Master of Teaching or Graduate Diploma of Education. There were 105 participants in the study. Data collection entailed a 25- to 30-minute survey, which participants completed at the conclusion of the unit. The survey contained qualitative and quantitative questions. Data were analysed through content analysis in the case of the open-ended questions while percentages and frequency column graphs were used for the multiple response questions. The results revealed that the personal and professional development of pre-service secondary teachers had been impacted significantly as a result of engagement in service-learning activities. Additionally, participants listed a range of ‘memorable’ experiences, highlighted various challenges associated with service-learning, indicated ways service-learning prepared them for their teaching practicum, and noted the importance of including service-learning as part of a teaching degree. An over-arching theme that emerged repeatedly in the comments of the pre-service teachers was the need to adopt an inclusive attitude in their teaching practice. The chapter concludes with the authors offering recommendations that focus on further research into the viability of service-learning programs in pre-service teaching courses.

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Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2020

Laura Selmo

Higher education has to develop personal and professional competences of students and to improve their knowledge and skills as well as their sense of civic engagement and…

Abstract

Higher education has to develop personal and professional competences of students and to improve their knowledge and skills as well as their sense of civic engagement and understanding of cultural and social issue. Moreover, higher education research suggests that the use of technology, e-learning and online course can provide a powerful learning experience for students (Volman, 2005). Thus, e-service-learning (E-SL), “…an electronic form of experiential education and incorporates electronically supported service learning” (Malvey, Hamby, & Fottler, 2006, p. 187) could be a teaching and learning methodology to reach these goals. Indeed:

it is delivered online and uses the Internet and state of the art technologies that permit students, faculty, and community partners to collaborate at a distance in an organized, focused, experiential service-learning activity, which simultaneously promotes civic responsibility and meets community needs. (Malvey et al., 2006, p. 187)

it is delivered online and uses the Internet and state of the art technologies that permit students, faculty, and community partners to collaborate at a distance in an organized, focused, experiential service-learning activity, which simultaneously promotes civic responsibility and meets community needs. (Malvey et al., 2006, p. 187)

Starting from a theoretical analysis of the evolution of E-SL, this chapter describes a case study of the use of E-SL in English Language Teaching (ELT) education and reveals the effects that it produces on the development of digital skills, teaching abilities and professional identity of pre-service teachers.

Details

International Perspectives on Policies, Practices & Pedagogies for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-854-3

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2017

Suzanne Carrington and Megan Kimber

In this chapter, we consider the impact of an international service-learning experience on six final year pre-service teachers’ preparedness to be inclusive teachers in…

Abstract

In this chapter, we consider the impact of an international service-learning experience on six final year pre-service teachers’ preparedness to be inclusive teachers in terms of Kiely’s (2004) “transforming forms” (p. 9). These forms are “political,” “intellectual,” “moral,” “cultural,” “personal,” and “spiritual.” The analysis of the six participants’ reflection logs completed on return to university, and interviews undertaken 12 months after the experience, revealed four categories (personal growth, relationships with others, wider societal views, and impact on teaching) that encompass movement toward these transforming forms. We begin the chapter by considering service-learning frameworks and theories, drawing out our understanding of Kiely’s (2004) “transforming forms” (pp. 9–11). Following this discussion, we provide an overview of our program and the six participants. We then analyze the data from participants’ reflection logs and interviews. From our analysis, we suggest that all six participants showed some movement toward one or more of the “transforming forms.” Finally, we draw conclusions about the usefulness of Kiely’s framework for planning and reflecting on an international service-learning experience to prepare pre-service teachers to be inclusive teachers. We conclude that keeping in mind Kiely’s “transforming forms” when planning, reflecting on, and evaluating an international service-learning experience can better prepare students to be inclusive teachers.

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2017

Sandra Lynch

One defining characteristic of service-learning as a pedagogical tool is its focus on reflection. Within service-learning programmes, students engage collaboratively with…

Abstract

One defining characteristic of service-learning as a pedagogical tool is its focus on reflection. Within service-learning programmes, students engage collaboratively with one another and community members, and are encouraged to reflect on the various aspects of their experience. The author argues that reflection is crucial for its contribution to service-learning, as a teaching methodology, and to service-learning’s cognitive, affective and social impact. Part of service-learning’s impact is its contribution to the development of inclusive attitudes and predispositions towards inclusiveness among school students and tertiary students, particularly pre-service teachers. The chapter recognises inclusivity as an element of quality teaching that helps students make connections with contexts outside the classroom, engage with different perspectives and ways of knowing and to accommodate all their peers and all those being offered service. The chapter recommends a particular approach to the expansion of thinking and practice that inclusivity requires, one based on the methodology of the Philosophy in Schools movement, which has its genesis in the work of John Dewey. That approach uses the mechanism of the Community of Inquiry to structure reflective activities in a way that facilitates the development of students’ critical and creative thinking and their capacity for substantive dialogue. Within the Community of Inquiry students are encouraged to engage with differing and perhaps novel perspectives as they respond to real-life service-learning experiences. Well-facilitated reflection gives students the opportunity to develop skills and dispositions conducive to deep understanding of concepts and issues that arise in discussion. It also helps to raise awareness of preconceptions and attitudes that can undermine inclusiveness in education. The chapter draws the conclusion that rigorous reflection serves as a stimulus to act to implement inclusive practices within service-learning projects on the basis of well-justified reasoning.

Details

Service-Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-185-8

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2017

Shelley H. Billig

This chapter provides practical research-based advice on implementing service-learning in inclusive classrooms to maximize academic, social-emotional, and civic outcomes…

Abstract

This chapter provides practical research-based advice on implementing service-learning in inclusive classrooms to maximize academic, social-emotional, and civic outcomes. The K-12 standards for service-learning quality are explained in detail, and the relationship to inclusive learning is described. Guidance and examples for how to improve meaningfulness of service, connect service-learning to curriculum, develop strong reflection processes, engage in progress monitoring, ensure appropriate duration and intensity of the experience, provide students’ with voice and choice, promote diversity, and develop strong community partnerships are provided. The chapter also includes information on improving student engagement and retention of information.

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Book part
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Nascira Ramia and Karla Díaz

This chapter provides higher education faculty with a model that promotes equity and inclusion by engaging students in developing critical consciousness about their…

Abstract

This chapter provides higher education faculty with a model that promotes equity and inclusion by engaging students in developing critical consciousness about their country’s social problems. This model has been developed and refined through research and practice at a private liberal arts university in Quito, Ecuador since 2011. It is a service-learning program where students work directly, for 80 hours, with a vulnerable human group while taking a course where the academic content includes topics, such as poverty, education, health, gender, and discrimination. With this experiential learning model, students have gone through a transformational process that has allowed them to question their mental schemes. This transformation has been documented with qualitative data. The impact of this model has been researched using both quantitative and qualitative measures of students’ civic attitudes and skills using a scale called the Civic Attitudes and Skills Questionnaire, which includes six factors: Civic Action, Interpersonal and Problem-Solving Skills, Political Awareness, Leadership Skills, Social Justice, and Diversity Attitudes. A significant impact of the course on students’ skills has been found on almost all factors in two studies conducted in recent years. This chapter describes the service-learning program in detail mentioning the research done.

Details

Strategies for Fostering Inclusive Classrooms in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-061-1

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2017

Connie Snyder Mick and James M. Frabutt

Within tertiary education, service-learning can offer deeply engaging and transformational experiences for students, broadening their consideration of a host of social…

Abstract

Within tertiary education, service-learning can offer deeply engaging and transformational experiences for students, broadening their consideration of a host of social justice issues of our time, including diversity and inclusion. This chapter describes how service-learning interfaces with two areas in particular, both of which have wide-ranging public health implications and are generally misrepresented in public media: poverty and mental health. Representative studies are highlighted and case examples are presented in each domain, concluding with recommendations for future research. The authors argue that service-learning courses addressing social justice issues such as poverty and mental health can lead to deep learning in students if they are sequenced to include both direct service-learning that concretizes the issue and community-based research that highlights the public policy challenges and implications of addressing that issue systemically.

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2010

Anne L. Christensen, Dennis Schmidt and Priscilla S. Wisner

This study evaluates participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a service-learning activity, to determine if participating students develop…

Abstract

This study evaluates participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a service-learning activity, to determine if participating students develop confidence in the skills needed for success in the accounting profession. An analysis of data from students at eight U.S. universities shows that VITA students were significantly more confident in their practical skills, citizenship skills, and personal responsibility skills after their VITA experience than a control group of students who did not participate in VITA, measured over a similar period of time. The VITA participants also reported a stronger sense of school pride and moderately more confidence in their interpersonal skills. However, the VITA students reported less confidence in their problem-solving skills, perhaps due to being faced with complex decision-making situations. While this finding was initially unexpected, it actually demonstrates the value of experiential learning for students.

Details

Advances in Accounting Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-292-1

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