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Title: Can service learning cultivate empowering experiences for students? Insight from empowerment pedagogy
Authors: Ho, APY 
Keywords: Empowerment pedagogy
Service learning
Environmental sustainability
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: ICSL 2016
Source: 2016 Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Service-Learning (ICSL 2016), the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 1-2 Dec 2016, p. 119-123 How to cite?
Abstract: The critical pedagogy advocated by Shor (1992) aims at providing empowering educational experience for students which is participatory, democratic, affective, problem-posing, dialogic and inter-disciplinary. The teaching and learning methods of the service learning subject “You can make a difference to our planet” were very much inspired by this critical, student-centered approach. By direct participation in the collection and distribution of consumable food, students experienced first-hand the magnitude of the food waste problem and came face-to-face with low-income elderly, food vendors, and community volunteers whom they seldom met in their daily life. Grounded in their direct community service experience, students were then given the opportunity to choose and to work on a problem which they had identified through brainstorming and contextual reflection. The service learning experience was empowering since students, tutors and the agency worked together as equal partners to co-create solutions towards environmental sustainability. The engagement with community stakeholders and inter-disciplinary teammates have enabled students to learn the art of compromising and democratic decision-making. The tutors played the role of a facilitator who help students draw upon their diverse knowledge and skills on problem-solving, while maximizing their learning through teamwork, reflection, and actualization of their project plans under practical constraints.
Rights: ©2016 The 2nd International Conference on Service-Learning (ICSL 2016)
Posted with permission of the publisher.
Appears in Collections:Conference Paper

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