An instrumental case study analysis of faculty perceptions and experiences with service-learning and its integration into the scholarship of teaching and learning

Date

2015-05

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore how faculty at a research university utilizes the service-learning pedagogy to advance their scholarship of teaching and learning. There is limited research on faculty perceptions of utilizing the service-learning pedagogy as a way to integrate the faculty roles of teaching, research, and service. It was the intent of this study to explore the perceptions and experiences of faculty who utilize the service-learning pedagogy in their teaching and research and how this has expanded into their academic career. It is also to explore how the faculty participants perceive service-learning within the context of their scholarship of teaching and learning. Using an instrumental case study research design and conducted through the naturalistic lens, this study was conducted at one research university located in the Southwestern region of the U.S. A total of seven university faculty members were purposefully selected to participate in the study. Dewey’s work on experiential education, Boyer’s work on the scholarship of teaching and learning, and Ford’s motivation theory were the basis of the conceptual framework that was used to frame this study.
Data collection tools for this study were the lens of the researcher, semi-structured interviews, documents, and researcher’s reflective journal. The constant comparative method, along with open and axial coding of the data, was used to analyze the collected data. Trustworthiness was established by the credibility, dependability, transferability, confirmabilty, and the other strategies of the qualitative study. The results of data analysis produced the following emergent themes 1) influences for faculty use of the service-learning pedagogy; 2) effects of service-learning pedagogy on scholarship and teaching; 3) opportunities and support for scholarship of teaching and learning, engaged research, and service-learning research; and 4) types of institutional support for service-learning faculty, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and engaged research. Within these main themes, several sub-themes also emerged. The findings illustrated that faculty participants do perceive the importance of utilizing the service-learning pedagogy and also within in their scholarship of teaching and learning. The participants view the pedagogy as a methodology to enhance student learning and to engage their students in the community. They recognized the importance of institutional support and recommended various types of support for faculty utilizing the pedagogy. College and universities need to make sure they are supporting their faculty with their engaged research endeavors and their scholarship of teaching and learning. The results of the study indicated the service-learning pedagogy is important to higher education faculty which should support their teaching and scholarship of teaching and learning which was evident through the perceptions of the study participants.


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Keywords

Service-Learning Pedagogy, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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