Evaluating the complexity of service-learning practices: lessons from and for complex systems theory

Burton, S., Hutchings, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-4303-6607, Lundy, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-6087-1161 and Lyons-Lewis, A., 2019. Evaluating the complexity of service-learning practices: lessons from and for complex systems theory. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 23 (3), pp. 89-103. ISSN 1534-6102

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Abstract

This article examines the intersection of service-learning with complex systems theory. It is based on a research project we undertook to explore whether complex systems theory might be useful for better understanding the dynamics of service-learning practice and thus for assisting in the design, running, and evaluation of service-learning projects. Additionally, we were interested to find out whether the specifics of our service-learning experience and knowledge, what we refer to as "critical service-learning," might have something of value to contribute to the interdisciplinary and ever-broadening paradigm of complexity studies. Our findings respond to these two tasks in the affirmative: We conclude complex systems theory can be of benefit to service-learning practice in a conceptual, operational, and strategic capacity. In instances where critical service-learning practice initially appears to be incongruent with complex systems theory, conversely these instances instead highlight precisely how service-learning could advance the analysis of systems in complexity studies.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement
Creators: Burton, S., Hutchings, S., Lundy, C. and Lyons-Lewis, A.
Publisher: Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia
Date: 2019
Volume: 23
Number: 3
ISSN: 1534-6102
Identifiers:
NumberType
1119719Other
Rights: © Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Copyright © 2019 by the University of Georgia. All rights reserved.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 Sep 2019 10:12
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2020 13:55
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/37789

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