One of the attractive initiatives within a post-secondary’s education model is the offering of service-learning abroad. Traditionally, the experiential offering of service-learning abroad is positioned as an acquired awareness towards collective and individual responsibility of global citizenry. The specific skills ‘imparted’ on a developing community is the social service component and the ‘expedition’ provides the experiential learning. One of the contentions that arises within traditional service-learning models is that it can reorganize missionary and colonial frameworks of ‘assistance’. These objectives of learning within traditional service-learning models can be problematic because they classify developing communities as the ‘others’, which reiterates an oppressive and inequitable dynamic of power and privilege. This ‘problemetization’ is not new to the field of equity studies. However, there has been reflections and thus, movements towards critical service-learning models that progress from simply ‘training and assisting’ to ‘self-reflection and social justice’. But is this enough to transform the face of equity in education initiatives abroad? This article addresses the contentions that may arise within critical service learning models and then offers transformative approaches to service-learning initiatives.
|Keywords:||Global Citizenship, Equity, Education, Service-learning, Objectives & Outcomes, Transformative Learning, Organizational Identity|
Lead Global Citizenship & Equity Learning Advisor, Centre for Organizational Learning & Teaching, Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada