First steps to developing service learning initiatives using emancipatory action research

Article


O'Shea, Eidin. 2013. "First steps to developing service learning initiatives using emancipatory action research." Australasian Journal of University Community Engagement. 8 (1), pp. 25-49.
Article Title

First steps to developing service learning initiatives using emancipatory action research

ERA Journal ID123353
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorO'Shea, Eidin
Journal TitleAustralasian Journal of University Community Engagement
Journal Citation8 (1), pp. 25-49
Number of Pages25
Year2013
Place of PublicationLismore, Australia
ISSN1833-4482
Web Address (URL)http://www.engagementaustralia.org.au/uploads/Autumn2013.pdf
Abstract

Academic institutions are increasingly required to develop new pedagogies which leverage active and experiential learning from within the curriculum. Service learning is a well-established concept which can enhance student learning through collaboration with profit and non-profit making organisations. However, as is widely recognised in the literature engaging students in meaningful service learning and binding them in innovative community-university relationships can be very challenging and there is little focus on the perceptions and expectations of the external partners.

This paper draws extensively on a first step experiences of a group of academics and students (from the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick in Ireland), community based practitioners, service providers and individuals who embarked on a collaborative service learning projects over a number of years (2007-2012). The aim of the project was to catalogue the experiences of Irish Travellers, people with experience of the asylum process and migrants in respect to public services and discrimination. This project undertook a creative form of 'co-operative enquiry' or 'emancipatory action research' which required that the students work as co-researchers with their community counterparts, jointly designing the project, generating ideas, interviewing the subjects, reflecting on the outcomes and suggesting potential policy changes. The pedagogical framework derived from this project is discussed as a potential means for successful 'whole of university approach' for service learning as it fostered inclusivity, enabled active learning and resulted in mutually beneficial outcomes for the community participants and academic learners.

Keywordsservice learning; active learning; emancipatory actions research; symbiotic relationships
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440712. Social policy
390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
399999. Other education not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

© 2013 Engagement Australia. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Byline AffiliationsAustralian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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