Morehead State University

Poster Title

Engaging the World through Service: Exploring International Service-Learning Opportunities

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

This research project explores best practices in international service-learning programs. Bringle and Hatcher (2011) have identified the following components as being critical to International Service Learning: (a) structured academic experience leading to appreciation of the host country and the discipline; (b) learning includes cross-cultural dialogue; (c) reflection furthers global and intercultural understanding; and (d) enhancing the students’ sense of responsibility as a citizen, both locally and globally. Noted educator, John Dewey observed, “That this revolution should not affect education in other than formal and superficial fashion is inconceivable.” The foundation for this study is built upon a review of literature on the theories of service learning. In addition, more detailed information was collected through a variety of research methods including surveys, focus groups, and interviews with students and faculty who have participated in international service learning. The purpose of this data collection was to identify successes and complications when implementing international service-learning experiences. The final report includes, but was not limited to: (a) an overview of service-learning as an instructional method; (b) a list of educational benefits of service-learning from a student perspective; (c) a list of special challenges related to international service-learning from a student and faculty perspective; (d) a list of programs offering international service-learning opportunities; and (e) a proposal for promoting international service learning at Morehead State University.

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Engaging the World through Service: Exploring International Service-Learning Opportunities

This research project explores best practices in international service-learning programs. Bringle and Hatcher (2011) have identified the following components as being critical to International Service Learning: (a) structured academic experience leading to appreciation of the host country and the discipline; (b) learning includes cross-cultural dialogue; (c) reflection furthers global and intercultural understanding; and (d) enhancing the students’ sense of responsibility as a citizen, both locally and globally. Noted educator, John Dewey observed, “That this revolution should not affect education in other than formal and superficial fashion is inconceivable.” The foundation for this study is built upon a review of literature on the theories of service learning. In addition, more detailed information was collected through a variety of research methods including surveys, focus groups, and interviews with students and faculty who have participated in international service learning. The purpose of this data collection was to identify successes and complications when implementing international service-learning experiences. The final report includes, but was not limited to: (a) an overview of service-learning as an instructional method; (b) a list of educational benefits of service-learning from a student perspective; (c) a list of special challenges related to international service-learning from a student and faculty perspective; (d) a list of programs offering international service-learning opportunities; and (e) a proposal for promoting international service learning at Morehead State University.