The impact of service-learning on students in a post-conflict society: the case of Cuttington University, Liberia
Horton, Romelle A.
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This qualitative case study explored how the management of the Service-learning Program at Cuttington University affects the learning experience of the student participants; captured the impact the experience of the Service-learning Program is having on student participants; and analyzed the implications of service-learning in higher education for peace and nation building in post-conflict Liberia. Researchers have suggested that service-learning is a powerful way to engage students in higher education by putting theory into practice in a real world setting. The literature reviewed also stated that reflection is central to service-learning and helps students assess their skills and personal development as they review the impact of their experience. Data for this study was collected from student participants in the Service learning Program, administrators at the University and policy-makers in the field of higher education in Liberia. The study found that service-learning is positively impacting the students’ personal development, enhancing their academic performance and increasing their social and civic responsibility. Unique to this study was contribution to the Transformative Learning Theory and the field of service-learning at that participation in the Service-learning Program at CU healed the wounds of trauma caused by the years of civil war. Since academic research about service-learning is still in its nascent stage in sub-Saharan Africa, this study will add to the available body of information on service-learning in Africa, especially as it relates to post-conflict countries. It is concluded that if supported and implemented by educators and policy-makers, service-learning can have far-reaching implications for the role of higher education in post-conflict societies and thus understand how to better serve this under-researched area and the students that participate in it.
- PhD Theses