Shenila Khoja-Moolji: Service-Learning Trips: What Not To Do

Source: Fair Observer By Shenila Khoja-Moolji

With summer just around the corner, many college and high school students are preparing to head out for service-learning trips. These trips are increasingly taking place in the global south, offering American students an opportunity to learn about issues such as poverty and development, while also making a contribution to the wellbeing of host communities. Projects often include building schools or parks, working in orphanages, engaging with the elderly in senior centers or painting murals, among others.

While praiseworthy in their pedagogical hopes, such projects can easily slip into reaffirming unequal relations of power between American students and host communities. Furthermore, they have the potential to leave students with a false sense of accomplishment, hindering their understanding about the complex nature of social change, development and poverty.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are heading out for such trips.

Read more – Dated: MAY 22, 2017

 

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Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, its achievements and humanitarian works.

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