Service-Learning and Social Development in Latin American Communities

By Dana Rasch, John W. Murphy and Karen A. Callaghan.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the past decade, service-learning, which integrates the academic curriculum with community service, has become popular in the field of K-12 education, including in Latin America. The focus of service-learning has been primarily on students gaining new personal insights and developing a sense of social responsibility toward surrounding communities. However, within this limited context, the idea that community social planning can be linked with service-learning has been mostly overlooked. Based on experiences in Colombia and Ecuador, the authors of this theoretical analysis examine how service-learning can become an integral facet of community development. In this sense, the authors discuss how service-learning can be used as a means of social planning to improve communities. Specifically, these insights can be instrumental in developing service-learning programs that provide students with the knowledge and skills to plan pertinent social interventions and become effective social activists.

Keywords: Service-Learning, Community Development, Social Planning

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.123-132. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 594.724KB).

Dana Rasch

Adjunct Professor, Sociology, U.S. Peace Corps, Huaquillas, Ecuador, Daytona Beach, USA

Dana Rasch received his PhD from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. His specialty areas include race and ethnic relations, social movements in Latin America, community organizing, and service-learning. Currently, he is serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Huaquillas, Ecuador elaborating various community-based projects including a service-learning project in a local elementary school.

John W. Murphy

Professor, Sociology, University of Miami, Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA

John W. Murphy received his PhD from Ohio State University. His areas of interest are sociological theory and social planning. He has published books related to community mental health and contemporary social theory. His recent books are Uriel Molina and the Sandinista Popular Movement (with Manuel Caro), La filosofía en la era de la globalización (with Alejandro Serrano Caldera), and Globalization with a Human Face (with Jung Min Choi, and Manuel Caro). His recent articles include “Globalization and Medicine in Trinidad,” and “Transracialism, multiculturalism, and community.” Currently, he is Professor of Sociology at the University of Miami in Florida.

Karen A. Callaghan

Dean, Social Science, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL, USA

Karen A. Callaghan received her PhD from Ohio State University. At this time she is Professor of Sociology and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. Her areas of concentration are social development, sociological theory, and critical pedagogy. Most recently she has written articles on the nature of communities and the problems with social entrepreneurship.


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