Service-Learning as Global Citizenship Education: Acting Locally on Global Challenges and Concerns

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Author: Genejane M. Adarlo, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
Email: gadarlo@ateneo.edu
Published: September 11, 2020
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.8.3.01

Citation: Adarlo, G. M. (2020). Service-Learning as Global Citizenship Education: Acting Locally on Global Challenges and Concerns. IAFOR Journal of Education: Undergraduate Education, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.8.3.01


Abstract

Service-learning is a method of teaching that is increasingly used in higher education. Studies are few though on how local placements in service-learning can bring about global citizenship and promote social justice. Hence, this study used multi-sited ethnography to examine the teaching-learning process of service-learning to better understand the construction of civic identity and sense of agency among students when this method of teaching was approached within the larger context of social justice. Study participants included students taking part in service-learning efforts for literacy and maternal health from Miriam College and Ateneo de Manila University, respectively. Data were gathered and analyzed from observation notes during classroom and field visits, entries from reflection journals of students, and verbatim transcripts from semi-structured interviews of study participants. Findings suggest an explicit and deliberate emphasis on social justice is imperative when a critical understanding of global citizenship is expected out of service-learning. As students were guided to understand the socio-economic and political realities of those in their respective service-learning community and examine their previously held assumptions about poverty, these study participants began to recognize how they continue to benefit from their privilege at the expense of the marginalized and disenfranchised. Furthermore, the relationships formed with those from the community helped the students gain a sense of agency to act on the root causes of social problems even in simple ways through their chosen discipline. These findings have theoretical and practical contributions to growing literature on the use of service-learning for global citizenship education.

Keywords

service-learning, global citizenship, transformative learning