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Dissertation zugänglich unter
Service-learning in higher education in Zimbabwe
Service-Lernen in der Hochschulbildung in Simbabwe
(2017) Pacho, O. T. (2015). Exploring participants’ experiences using case study. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 5(4), pp. 44-53. Pacho, O.T. (2015). Unpacking John Dewey’s connection to service-learning. Journal of Education & Social Policy, 2 (3), pp. 8-16.
Dokument 1.pdf (1.203 KB)
Experiential learning , service-learning , experience , reflection , learning , continuity , interaction , Ujamaa , Ubuntu , Ignatian pedagogy
Erziehung, Schul- und Bildungswesen
Mitchell, Gordon (Prof. Dr.)
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung:
Kurzfassung auf Englisch:
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates community service with academic study, reflection, and analysis to enrich the learning experience of students, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Research focusing on service-learning has increased considerably over the years, across the globe. In spite of the contribution of service-learning being widely recognised, there is remarkably little research that empirically looks at the question in Zimbabwe. From the research perspectives, my study explores service-learning in higher education in Zimbabwe using Arrupe College and its service-learning programme known as the Arrupe College Apostolate Programme as a case study. The purpose of my study was to examine the effect of the programme on student learning. The guiding research question was: “How does participation in the programme affect students?” The theoretical background for my study was developed around John Dewey’s (1859-1952) ideas on experience in education. His position that educational processes take place within experience forms the principal hypothesis of my study.
By means of qualitative methodology, I investigated the experiences of students who participated in the programme. It was my intention to better understand how learning takes place in the context of community service and higher education in Zimbabwe. The study participants were twenty-nine including fourteen students, eight alumni, two faculty members, two college administrators, and three service community leaders. Participants were selected by purposive sampling based on the criteria of their professional role, expertise, or experience. Data were collected by means of focus group, in-depth interviews, e-mail correspondences, observation, and a review of documents provided by the participants. The issues of validity and reliability were addressed by bracketing, triangulation, and thick description. Data analysis was based on thematic coding guided by Grounded Theory and Dewey’s categories on experience and education. This was done by transcribing the data and coding the transcripts into categories and major themes.
The analysis reveals that the Arrupe College Apostolate Programme is an important tool that encourages students to participate in the learning process and in society. My major finding is that the service-learning programme has a positive influence on students’ personal and cognitive development. It improves their academic competencies in terms of better appreciation of the relevance of course material, application of course content, active participation in philosophical discourse, and development of methodological competencies. It also enhances students’ moral and spiritual development and their interpersonal, intercultural, and civic competencies while challenging and shaping their career paths by bringing them in contact with real-life issues and with the people they would work with in future. The findings actualise and strengthen Dewey’s theory of experience and its connection to education. Students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organised service activities meeting the needs of communities. My study also found out that a number of students tend to care more about the service than about reflecting on it and viewing it as a learning experience. My recommendations include, on the one hand, that in service-learning, the aspect of reflection should be formally institutionalized, and, on the other hand, a replication of the current study from a broader perspective.