Welcome to the Cambridge Handbook for Service Learning and Community Engagement. This is not a typical handbook, though. While we offer what we think are excellent chapters on best practices in service learning and community engagement, this handbook also speaks to where we believe the field itself is and where it needs to be. In this regard, we embrace service learning in its most dynamic and evolving sense. We present an in-depth yet multiperspective history of the field, an overview of the current academic and institutional landscape, and some critical voices about where our future could and should be. Even the reviews of “best practices” have authors and practitioners considering the future of engaged teaching, learning, research, and institutional change. We hope this handbook will be useful to a wide range of “interest groups” involved in service learning and community engagement: from students, staff, faculty, and administrators at all types of higher education institutions to community-based nonprofit agency staff, local groups and faith leaders, organizers and activists, unions, undocumented workers, refugees, neighborhood residents, homeless people, and all of the individuals and constituencies whose lives must be embraced and included if we are to seriously consider education as the practice of democracy and freedom. But we also hope this book is helpful for those who engage in these endeavors uncomfortably, apprehensively, and critically, as well as those whose concerns have been so significant that they avoid service learning and community engagement work altogether. While we believe there are elements of engaged pedagogy and scholarship that have proven influential and impactful for students, faculty, institutions of higher education, and their community partners, this book is not about boosterism; it's about transformation. We hope this book promotes radical changes not only in education but in our most fundamental institutions of social and civic life – transformation that requires serious people undertaking significant deliberation and committing ourselves to substantive redistribution of resources and power. We will need a more robust democracy to get there; we will never achieve such a democracy without it.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)