Service-learning in teacher training in Spanish universities

Alvarez-Castillo, Jose Luis; Martinez Usarralde, Maria Jesus; Gonzalez Gonzalez, Hugo; Buenestado Fernandez, Mariana


Volume Issue Pages DOI / ISBN / ISSN
75 267 199-217 DOI: 10.22550/REP75-2-2017-02


Language Country
Spanish Spain


A culture of training teaching staff in specific teaching skills is spreading throughout higher education in Europe and other regions. In recent years, service-learning has been one of the active methodologies that has attracted the most attention in educational literature and in training practices. This piece uses an ex post facto cross-sectional study to quantify and describe service learning training provision in Spanish universities, using an information recording sheet to gather evidence from institutional websites and an unstructured questionnaire as a complementary data source. Our results support the claim that teaching training activities are growing and that there are some advances in the consolidation of this trend. However, significant limitations were identified, such as a lack of a practice-based orientation in teacher training and the lack of a coordinated plan to facilitate learning ecologies, something that is hindering the reflective, cooperative, and transformative impact that is attributed to the service learning method. Based on this diagnosis, we suggest that training activities be incorporated into multi-year plans, and note that sociocritical and practical orientations would work better together, and that collaborative work between universities and community services should be strengthened.


Service-learning; teacher education; higher education; professional development; experiential learning

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