The purpose of this work is to improve service learning research and practice through strengthening its theoretical base. Contributing authors include both well-known and emerging service learning and community engagement scholars, as well as scholars from other fields. The authors bring theoretical perspectives from a wide variety of disciplines to bear as they critically review past research, describe assessment methods and instruments, develop future research agendas, and consider implications of theory-based research for enhanced practice.
Both volumes open with chapters focused on defining the criteria for quality research.
Volume 2A then begins with research related to students, comprising chapters that focus on cognitive processes, academic learning, civic learning, personal development, and intercultural competence. The concluding faculty section presents chapters on faculty development, faculty motivation, and faculty learning.
Volume 2B addresses community development, and the role of nonprofit organizations in service learning. It then focusses on institutions, examining the institutionalization of service learning, engaged departments, and institutional leadership. The final section on partnerships in service learning includes chapters on conceptualizing and measuring the quality of partnerships, inter-organizational partnerships, and student partnerships.
This work constitutes a rich resource that suggests new approaches to conceptualizing, understanding, implementing, assessing, and studying service learning. Each chapter offers recommendations for future research.
Research on Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Assessment will be of interest to both new and veteran service learning instructors seeking to enhance their practice by integrating what has been learned in terms of teaching, assessment, and research. Staff and faculty who are responsible for promoting and supporting service learning at higher education institutions, evaluating community service programs, and working with faculty to develop research on service learning, will also find this volume helpful. For scholars and graduate students reviewing and conducting research related to service learning, this book is a comprehensive resource, and a knowledge base about the processes and outcomes of innovative pedagogies, such as service learning, that will enable them to locate their own work in an expanding and deepening arena of inquiry.