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Using service to transform learning: re-scripted ABCs for our changing environment

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to propose a re-scripting of how it should educate students in light of a changing environment. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This paper shares a conceptual framework and provide examples from the service learning (SL) courses and data from students (from course-based reflection and evaluation) to support the framework and recommendations. Findings ‐ Through the experiences, SL to transform students' learning and ability to adapt to the changing, global marketplace has been found. Practical implications ‐ The paper hopes that faculty and educational institutions will consider the outcomes and recommendations to challenge traditional modes of educating and utilize SL as one means for building competencies that facilitate personal and professional success in the current environment. Originality/value ‐ The paper challenges the prevailing wisdom about the role of curricula to focus primarily on knowledge and skills. The context of the unscripted future can quickly render knowledge and skill sets obsolete. Due to this age of uncertainty, it argues that curricula be built around capabilities (adaptability, behaving morally, cultural sensitivity) that enable students/future employees to adapt to a changing, global marketplace to leverage the knowledge base, and that SL be utilized as a meaningful pedagogical approach to instill this capability.

Keywords: Adaptability; Educational planning and administration; Entrepreneurialism; Ethics; Higher education; Social values

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/19348830910948904

Publication date: March 13, 2009

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