European Observatory logo

Learning through the Assumption of Social Responsibility: Social Inequality, Poverty and Housing

Housing, as a fundamental human need, enables participation in social life, but in many major cities affordable housing is becoming an increasingly scare resource. Increasing rent burdens, lack of housing and growing inequality in living standards confront social and housing actory with the challenge of creating affordable housing and counteracting the distribution of poor districts, accomodation shortages, homelessness and the increase in insecure conditiions through appropriate measures.

Within the framework of the project, which will run over one year (starting October 2019) a viable concept for bringing together the approach of research-based teaching and learning and the service-learning approach in higher education will be developed. The concept should be consolidates and later integrated into the curriculum of the corresponding bachelor study programme in the field of geography.

In accordance with the research-based teaching and learning approach, the students will work together in small research groups of 4-6 students. They will carry out all phases of a research project, starting with the definition of research questions and ending with the discussion and resentation of the research results in the final report. In addition, the teaching research project will be designed as a service learning project. Close cooperation with community partners in the City of Essen and the City of Bochum will result in high responsiveness to their needs, intrests and expectations. A particular advantage of this programme is the strengthening of the students’ civic responsibility and understanding of democracy. By working in small research groups, the students have the opportunity to practice several project management strategies that will benefit them in their professional life, Using a holistic approach, cognitivem affective and psychomotor learning objectives will be pursued, and the success of the project will be measured by reaching the defined goals. For this purpose, a concept of accompanying teaching and learning research will be developed as part of the requested project funding, which should accompany the individual learning process of the students from an educational and psychological perspective and evaluate objective achievement. Semi-standardised surveys and the conduction of accompanying qualitative interviews at four points during the teaching research project are planned. In particular, the achieved value derived from bringing together the research-based teaching and learning and the service-learning approach in higher education should be clearly illustrated.

Country: Germany

Year: 2019-2020

Institution: Ruhr-University Bochum, Department of Geography

# of students: 18

Interaction with beneficiaries: Mixed

Academic Degree: Undergraduate

Discipline(s): Human geography | Sociology | Economics

Community Service Area & ODS: No poverty | Reducing inequalities | Gender equality