Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education


The question we are explore in this paper is how a collaboration between a practicum-based course and a social enterprise encourages students to examine, discuss, and apply complex social justice concepts and frameworks. We also investigate how this fosters in them a sense of self as changemaker, a form of self-authorship that includes the confidence to tackle justice issues in collaborative and practical ways. Applying the framing of Baxter Magolda’s Learning Partnerships Model, we first describe our experiential pedagogical practice and then illustrate outcomes by drawing exemplars from student reflections. These reflections confirm that a community-based learning practice can support students to become changemakers able to analyze the systemic forces that give rise to injustices, engage in honest dialogue to understand multiple perspectives, cultivate trusting relationships across differences of identity and experience, and feel confidence in themselves and others to create meaningful change toward a more just world.

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