The phenomenon of combinning service learning and study abroad: A qualitative inquiry
Klein, Charles H.
MetadataShow full item record
Service-learning is a form of experiential learning that incorporates rigorous academic curricula, valuable community serve, and critical reflection in order to enhance the learning process and promote civic engagement among college students. Study abroad is also a form of experiential learning that, through immersion in a foreign country, can help students to grow personally and academically as well as develop greater cultural awareness in preparation for becoming global citizens. Incorporating service-learning with study abroad results in a phenomenon that enhances and intensifies the experience for students, especially in increasingly popular short-term study abroad programs. This qualitative inquiry looks at six landscape architecture summer study abroad programs to Yucatán, Mexico from 2005 through 2010. The course topic was Community-Based Ecotourism and included design studios where students worked with rural Maya communities who wanted to develop low impact tourism projects. Qualitative data analysis included two sets of data; the students’ journals with their responses to Pre- and Post-Flection essay prompts, and transcripts of interviews with individuals seven years after their participation in the first program in 2005. Results indicate that students’ journaling after the trip shifted toward the higher level of Krathwohl’s affective domain. Indications are that the service-learning component played an important role in the shift. There were also indications that students valued community engagement as an important aspect of the program