Exploring Deweyian Experiential Learning Pedagogy as Citizenship Development

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Broom, C. & Bai, H. (2011). Exploring service learning pedagogy as citizenship development. Journal of Global Citizenship and Equity Education, 1(1), 44-59.

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Service Learning
Citizenship education
Experiential learning

Developing good citizens is one of the root theoretical justifications and purposes of public schooling and social studies. Much discussion exists, however, over what good citizenship entails and how it can best be achieved. One approach — experiential learning and its associated service learning—is currently popular in a number of disciplines. It is argued to be aninvaluable way of developing students’ citizenship through experience basedlearning. This paper begins by reviewing Dewey’s educational theory, whichencompasses experiential learning with the aim of developing citizenship, thussetting the foundations for current experiential and service learning pedagogies. It then presents the findings of a qualitative interview study with high schoolstudents and teachers who have taken part in overseas service projects. Thediscussion illustrates the benefits and challenges of citizenship developmentthrough experiential curricula and concludes with recommendations that aim to strengthen this form of learning.

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