Project 12: Service Learning in the Social Economy

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 47.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_node_new_comments::pre_render() should be compatible with views_handler_field::pre_render($values) in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/comment/views_handler_field_node_new_comments.inc on line 100.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 35.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument_many_to_one.inc on line 35.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/sec/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.

 Project 12 

Service Learning in the Social Economy

Academic Partners
Jorge Sousa, University of Alberta (Project Lead)
For further information about this project, contact Jorge Sousa: sousa@ualberta.ca

Description

Service learning promotes the establishment of partnerships between universities and Social Economy organizations with the purpose of providing students with community learning opportunities. The National Service Learning Clearinghouse defines service learning as “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” Service learning, also referred to as Community Service Learning (CSL), has become a significant part of the University experience in the United States, and is gaining an increased presence in Canada. As a result service learning has taken on a greater role in pedagogy by integrating experiential learning though voluntary community service.

Recent research provides evidence that service learning has had positive effects on student academic performance and a greater understanding of social justice. However, there has been a notable gap in the research examining the impact that service learning activities has had on the participating Social Economy organizations. Furthermore, there has been a range of approaches to implementing service learning practices utilized by both social economy organizations and Universities, including: data collection; front line work; homework club; and community clean-up. Consequently, there is no uniform characterization of service learning.

The purpose of this research is to explore the efficacy of service learning from the perspective of these organizations. The study will initially target partnerships between Ontario universities and Social Economy organizations who are involved in service learning activities. The focus of the research will be on the benefits and challenges involved in the effective implementation service learning activities that are mutually beneficial and respectful. The study utilizes a multi-method approach to data collection, including: survey, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups. Preliminary research questions include:

  • What is the relationship between type of service organization and the practice of service learning?
  • Does infrastructure have an impact on promoting effective service learning activities?
  • What role do these organizations have in determining the pedagogy applied in the classroom?
  • What benefits are experienced by these organizations?
  • What are some of the challenges faced by these organizations in promoting service learning opportunities?
  • Does the number of hours make a difference on the experience?
  • Are there alternative models that can be applied in a service learning context?

Plans for communicating research results within the academic community

TBA

Plans for communicating research results outside the academic community

Interview with Jorge Sousa by Robin Puga 
(MP3 file, 12:54 mins, 4.4 MB)

Sousa, Jorge, Goudar, Natasha, and Xiao, Jing. (2007). Service Learning in the Social Economy. Paper presented at “Strengthening and Building Communities: The Social Economy in a Changing World”. First International CIRIEC Research Conference on the Social Economy. Victoria, BC; October 23rd.