Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Burant, Theresa J.

Second Advisor

Pink, William T.

Third Advisor

Quade, Stephanie L.


Service-learning and community service have become increasingly common pedagogical tools in creating opportunities for college students to engage meaningfully with the world and apply knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to "real life" settings. Many educators have advocated these practices as transformative experiences that will encourage college students to reflect critically on the world and their experience within it. In their important work on service-learning as a pedagogy for transformation, Eyler and Giles (1999) assert their belief that "community experiences that challenge student assumptions coupled with thoughtful reflection may lead to fundamental changes in the way the student views service or society" (p. 17). Advocates of service-learning and social justice believe that in a society like the United States, where inequality is found in the history and traditions that have been difficult to leave behind, the level of sustained commitment required to achieve equality and justice will likely require a citizenry that is able to engage in conversations on racial, economic, and gender equality at a level deeper than mere intellectual curiosity. As Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ., Superior General of the Society of Jesus, stated when speaking on the promotion of justice in Jesuit higher education, "when the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change. Personal involvement with innocent suffering, with the injustice others suffer, is the catalyst for solidarity which then gives rise to intellectual inquiry and moral reflection" (2000, 41).



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