The limits of service-learning in higher education

Butin, DW


Volume Issue Pages DOI / ISBN / ISSN
29 4 473 DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2006.0025


Language Country
English Other


This article takes a critical look at the attempted institutionalization of service-learning in higher education. It asks whether service-learning can become deeply embedded within the academy; and if so, what exactly is becoming embedded. Specifically, this article suggests that there are substantial pedagogical, political, and institutional limits to service-learning across the academy. These limits, moreover, are shown to be inherent to the service-learning movement as contemporarily theorized and enacted. The article concludes by refraining some of the grounding assumptions of service-learning to position it as a disciplinary field more suited for becoming genuinely embedded within higher education.


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