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For Immediate Release
April 05, 2016

IPFW Professors Explore Service-Learning in New Book

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Service-learning in higher education takes students beyond the four walls of the classroom and into the community. A new book edited by Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Professor M. Gail Hickey, with chapters authored and co-authored by seven additional faculty members, explores service learning concepts and how these ideas can be incorporated into other universities and classrooms.

Reflections on Service Learning in Higher Education: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives will be published in May by Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield.

The following IPFW faculty authored or co-authored chapters in the book:

  • Sheena Choi, associate professor, Department of Educational Studies
  • M. Gail Hickey, professor, Department of Educational Studies
  • Nancy Mann, clinical professor, Department of Dental Education
  • Jospeter Mbuba, associate professor, Department of Public Policy
  • Joe Nichols, professor, Department of Educational Studies
  • Pam Reese, assistant professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Sherrie Steiner, assistant professor, Department of Sociology
  • Hao Sun, professor, Department of English and Linguistics

“This book is full of ideas for educators and community agency leaders interested in service-learning,” says Hickey. “In each chapter, one or more university-level instructors take the reader on a journey depicting his or her own experiences with and perspectives about service-learning. The chapters depict service-learning experiences with diverse student populations in various institutional settings by instructors representing an interdisciplinary context.”

The book is divided into several sections. Each section features chapters focused around a particular theme. The sections include:

  • “Reflecting on Community Partnerships”
  • “Reflecting on Classroom Practice”
  • “Reflecting on Diversity”

Jessica Restaino, Ph.D., of Montclair State University, who reviewed Hickey's book, says: "This wide-ranging collection grounds scholar practitioners in universal, best-practice approaches to service-learning, and engages in disciplinary stances that demonstrate the myriad ways in which we can sort of work across contexts."

In Chapter 2, “The Move to a More Pragmatic Democratic Civic Engagement: Universities of the Future,” Joe Nichols explores university concepts of civic engagement and considers their impact on the community served.

"I think the collaborative effort among the authors of this text is vitally important in that it furthers the mission of the College of Education and Public Policy; "Doing Public Good," said Nichols. "We've been about the process of trying to define this concept for several years and service-learning is just one way our students can be encouraged to serve the community not only in a sense of Doing Public Good, but also in promoting the construct of democratic civic engagement. Community engagement and service should be at the heart of the university mission."

In Chapter 14, “Expanding Multicultural Understanding through Service-Learning: A Case Study,” Sheena Choi and M. Gail Hickey develop a case for exposing graduate and undergraduate teacher education students to ethnically and linguistically diverse populations via multiple service-learning projects.

Choi says from her perspective the experience and collaboration was special because "in the university environment, service-learning links the campus to the community. Service-learning is more than volunteering. In our co-authored chapter, Dr. Hickey and I describe how teacher education students were involved in service-learning efforts related to our credit courses and how both the students and the community agencies benefited from those experiences."

Jospeter Mbuba, Ph.D., was named a Faculty Fellow at the state level to pursue a year-long training for including service-learning in the course he writes about in his chapter. "The reflection by this book on the varied dimensions of service learning zooms in the whole pedagogy and demonstrates the interconnectedness of different disciplines when it comes to service-learning," says Mbuba.  

Hickey notes most of the IPFW faculty included in the edited volume served as Faculty Fellows through the Indiana Campus Compact service-learning program and write about how their own courses were changed as a result of their training in service-learning pedagogy. “Service-learning is one of the most important high-impact forms of pedagogy university professors can use today to motivate students to see the connections between theory and practice.” Hickey hopes this book will help university professors and administrators who wish to embrace and support service-learning principles in their own classrooms. “This edited volume provides practical support and instructor-tested examples for effectively bringing service-learning into the campus and community environments.”

For more information contact Hickey at 260-481-6458 or hickey@ipfw.edu.

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