International Educator - January/February 2013 - 16

IN Brief
International Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research
Edited by Robert G. Bringle, Julie A. Hatcher, and Steven G. Jones
Reviewed by Martin Tillman

BOOK NOTES

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INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N + F E B . 13

HIS VOLUME makes an important contribution to the body of literature about international service learning and analyzes critical research issues that international education practitioners and policymakers in both the service-learning community and the education abroad field need to address. The book is volume one in a series produced by the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Center for Service and Learning Research Collaborative. The objective is to “emphasize service learning as a distinctive aspect of the development of study abroad and strategic international partnerships.” The book’s 15 chapters are divided into three sections to discuss conceptual frameworks for international service learning (ISL), how course design informs research in the field, and the conduct of qualitative and quantitative research. The chapter by Humphrey Tonkin (well-known for his leadership in the field for more than 30 years and an early supporter and board member of the pioneering International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership [IPSL]), “A Research Agenda for International Service Learning,” provides an excellent overview and synthesis of the challenges in conducting service-learning research found in other chapters. He begins his historical survey by citing the founding in Great Britain, by Alec Dickson (an influential mentor to those who created IPSL), more than 50 years ago, of Voluntary Service Overseas—upon which the Peace Corps was based—and the postcolonial growth of national service programs in the developing world. In both instances, these initiatives were directed at the needs

of the communities being served and less so on the outcome of the experience on the volunteers. Neither of these important efforts was integrated into university curricula, nor were they constructed around a particular educational pedagogy. Tonkin has a keen cross-cultural sensitivity and broad understanding of history in the international education field when approaching the subject of constructing a research agenda aimed at identifying the impact of service-learning programs as practiced in North America. Researchers, he says, must “…recognize that the American experience is determined in large part by American higher-education structures, American ideologies of service and of international engagement, and American concepts of experiential education. One of the biggest challenges facing the researcher in this field is overcoming this parochial bias.” This is particularly important in light of how the service-learning field has grown beyond our borders in recent years. Tonkin makes a pointed comment about what differentiates research and practice in education abroad from that of the service learning (and by inference the ideological framework which underlies the purposes of each type of international experience): “…ISL emerged as an expansion of study abroad in the direction of community service, rather than an expansion of community service in the direction of study abroad. “He goes on to say this has led those working in the study abroad field to believe that the “study abroad enterprise exists to serve an American purpose, namely, the liberal education of the student passing through it (my emphasis, p. 193).” He then makes a point not often addressed in the

literature about study abroad—if this perspective is held by practitioners, it is but one step to “the damaging notion that the larger world exists as a kind of classroom where the American student can learn values or skills that can be transferred to the United States and that student’s adult life.” Having written quite a lot about the impact of study abroad on the career development of U.S. students, this gave me pause. This is not a perspective usually discussed in the literature about the practice of study abroad. The focus in the field is more often about the integration of such programs into the campus curriculum or on how the experience, in and of itself, can add value to the student’s values, beliefs, or professional goals. There is a strong thread of analysis— often with a political edge—throughout the chapters that places the intrinsic value and learning outcomes of purposefully designed and led service-learning programs above—or perhaps beyond the reach of—traditional study abroad experiences. For example, William Plater’s discussion of the role of the university in graduating globally competent citizens (pp. 37–47) highlight’s the obvious fact that study abroad is of the community while ISL is through and with the community. He makes several useful points about how service learning provides students with a compelling understanding of the meaning of internationalization: n■ ISL immerses students “in a community of action” bringing immediacy and intensity to the experience in an international setting; n■ Students are required to apply their curricular knowledge and preparation to issues and circumstances they face in real time;



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2013

International Educator - January/February 2013
Table of Contents
From the Editors
Frontlines
In Brief
Intimate Proximity: The Human Face of Genocide
After the Curtain Fell
University of Michigan: Global Giant
Special Section: Japan
Education Abroad
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2013 - International Educator - January/February 2013
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Table of Contents
International Educator - January/February 2013 - From the Editors
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Frontlines
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2013 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 12
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 16
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Intimate Proximity: The Human Face of Genocide
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 22
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 26
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2013 - After the Curtain Fell
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 36
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2013 - University of Michigan: Global Giant
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 40
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 42
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Special Section: Japan
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 46
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 48
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 54
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 57
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 58
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 59
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Forum
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 61
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 62
International Educator - January/February 2013 - 63
International Educator - January/February 2013 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2013 - Cover4
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