Integrating Service Learning and Multicultural Education in Colleges and Universities

By Carolyn R. O'Grady | Go to book overview

education is the tendency to overlook the collective roles of teachers, parents, community representatives, and others with a stake in education, in making progress toward equity in education. Our practice is outstripping our understanding of what constitutes effective practice. As we know from the work of Freire, education, in and of itself, cannot be liberating and empowering. Possibilities increase, however, once educational projects are embarked upon in harmony with progressive social movements. Learning about, while participating in, social change is beneficial to both teachers and students. Such involvement helps; (1) clarify the reality of institutional inequities; (2) discern the interconnectedness between various forms of oppression and, (3) advance a notion of "citizenship" that centers on collective action instead of individual charity to serve in the voluntary sector. The historical precedents of multicultural education represent a notion of struggle around equity and justice to improve both the content and processes of schooling as well as the quality of democracy in our society. This lesson should not be forgotten.

As advocates of service learning and multicultural education programs, we must reassess our educational priorities as educators and as equal citizens. As part of this reassessment, we must ask ourselves to what extent are we willing to work toward advancing real social and economic change to meet the human needs underlying the problems our service learning and multicultural programs attempt to address?


REFERENCES

Banks J. ( 1988). Multiethnic education: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Barber B. ( 1992). An aristocracy of everyone. New York: Ballantine.

Bellah R., Madsen R., Sullivan W., Swidler A., & Tipton S. ( 1985). Habits of the heart. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Billingsley R. ( 1994). "Leadership training and service learning". In R. J. Kraft & M. /> Swadener (Eds.), Building community: Service learning in the academic disciplines (pp. 23-33). Denver, CO: Colorado Campus Compact.

Boyte H. C. ( 1984). Community is possible: Repairing America's roots. New York: Harper & Row.

Carnoy M., & Levin H. M. ( 1985). Schooling and work in the democratic state. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Counts G. ( 1932). Dare the schools build a new social order? New York: Scribner.

Dewey J. ( 1916). Democracy and education. New York: Macmillan.

Eads S. E. ( 1994). The value of service learning in higher education. In R. J. Kraft & M. Swadener (Eds.), Building community: Service learning in the academic disciplines (pp. 35-40). Denver, CO: Colorado Campus Compact.

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