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Community engagement through service learning: the experience of Strathmore University Dr. Alfred Kitawi, Ms. Christina Garashie and Mr. Michael Babu, Strathmore University, Kenya HE Research Group Seminar

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posted on 24.02.2021, 17:12 by Alfred Kitawi
Abstract

Service learning is an experiential form of education. Learning occurs through immersion. Students spend hours working with others, reflect on the issues with communities and apply what they have learned to resolve community problems. Few universities in Africa have integrated this as part of their core-curriculum and offer credits for being involved in community issues. Our presentation will focus on the nature of service-learning in one private university in Nairobi. The university is Strathmore University, and the service-learning activities include student mentoring, providing certificate instruction to prisoners, building of classrooms and dormitories. The main philosophy of service learning is to produce a sense of commonality and shared experience across social divides (Stoecker, 2016). A number of benefits have accrued from service-learning: personal growth and development, academic learning, interpersonal outcomes, improved grade point average, reduced dropouts, positive attitude and behaviours, community connections (Farber, 2011), moral development, civic engagement, student personal efficacy and development of critical thinking skills(Butin, 2010; Jacoby, 2015). Our presentation will focus on five projects, the Macheo Mentoring Programme, the TAI project, the Prisoners Education Programme, the Kwale Project and the Lodwar Education Project.

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