Transforming the Face of Equity in Education Initiatives Abroad: An Issue Analysis of Inequitable Frameworks in Service-learning Abroad through Education

By Julia M. Lewis Satov.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

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One of the attractive initiatives within a post-secondary’s education model is the offering of service-learning abroad. Traditionally, the experiential offering of service-learning abroad is positioned as an acquired awareness towards collective and individual responsibility of global citizenry. The specific skills ‘imparted’ on a developing community is the social service component and the ‘expedition’ provides the experiential learning. One of the contentions that arises within traditional service-learning models is that it can reorganize missionary and colonial frameworks of ‘assistance’. These objectives of learning within traditional service-learning models can be problematic because they classify developing communities as the ‘others’, which reiterates an oppressive and inequitable dynamic of power and privilege. This ‘problemetization’ is not new to the field of equity studies. However, there has been reflections and thus, movements towards critical service-learning models that progress from simply ‘training and assisting’ to ‘self-reflection and social justice’. But is this enough to transform the face of equity in education initiatives abroad? This article addresses the contentions that may arise within critical service learning models and then offers transformative approaches to service-learning initiatives.

Keywords: Global Citizenship, Equity, Education, Service-learning, Objectives & Outcomes, Transformative Learning, Organizational Identity

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp.33-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 499.126KB).

Julia M. Lewis Satov

Lead Global Citizenship & Equity Learning Advisor, Centre for Organizational Learning & Teaching, Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Julia Satov is the Lead Global Citizenship & Equity Learning Advisor for Centennial College. Within this role, she contributed to the Strategic Integration Process of GCE learning outcomes that is used program-wide. Julia is the lead of a team of GCE advisors that internationalize curriculum towards Global Citizenship & Equity across the eight schools within Centennial. She has presented nationally on her independent, academic, and professional work. She is also the Principal of Transforming Education, which supports taking educational vision to transformative practice. Her scope surrounds global engagement, business ethics, social media, internationalization trends, and social entrepreneurship. Julia will be an Opening Plenary Speaker for CBIE's Annual Conference in November, 2013, has keynoted at Capilano University in 2013, received the NCSPOD Exemplar Award in 2011, has published on ethics and culture with Pearson Publishing, and was featured on television as Most Dynamic Instructor in 2007. She holds a Law Clerk Diploma, a Degree in Philosophy, a Certificate in Professional Ethics, and is completing her Masters of Education, with her research on internationalizing faculty.