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Global Service Learning and Higher Education


  • Mike Sherrill

    (Aoyama Gakuin University)


In current times universities around the world have bolstered efforts to ?globalize? or ?internationalize? their campuses. This is often articulated concretely as the intent to prepare students to be ?global citizens?. In tandem with this goal some universities also express the desire to develop ?servant leaders?, those well equipped to lead, but who do so through collaboration and putting the needs of others first. Indeed such educational pursuits herald new potential in our contemporary societies for greater compassion, peace, and justice through mutual understanding and appreciation across cultures. However, in order to move beyond conceptualization toward actualization, we are forced to carefully consider how and to what degree the core curricula of institutions of higher education cultivate mutual global citizenship. A growing body of research identifies a point of intersection of the concerns above in the rubric ?global-service-learning?. Such an approach to learning seeks to integrate academic pursuit with community engagement in a context outside the participant?s country of origin. Moreover, it is characterized by a shift away from thinking of service as ?doing for? and more towards ?doing with?. Drawing insight from the relevant current literature, this paper explores the relationship between global service learning and higher education. Special consideration is given to the role of universities in promoting capacity development through education and action on behalf of marginalized global communities. The paper concludes with reflections and insights gained from recent participation in global service learning programs in India and the Philippines.

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Sherrill, 2015. "Global Service Learning and Higher Education," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 2704420, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:sek:iacpro:2704420

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    More about this item


    global service learning; higher education; global citizenship; capacity development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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