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Reflections on Service-Learning, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Competence


Goldberg, LR and Coufal, KL, Reflections on Service-Learning, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Competence, Journal of College Teaching and Learning, 6, (6) pp. 39-50. ISSN 1544-0389 (2009) [Refereed Article]


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In today's increasingly multicultural society, students need to be prepared for the work world they will encounter. Well-developed critical thinking skills appear essential to needed cultural competence. With its focus on community involvement, deep reflection and civic engagement, the possibility that Service-Learning (SL) could improve students' critical thinking abilities, and thus contribute to students' intellectual development and cultural competence, was explored. The critical thinking abilities of a group of 4th and 5th year university students were measured before and after 12 weeks of community-based experiences. The 4th year students were involved in an integrated SL course. The 5th year students had completed the SL course the previous year. There was a significant difference between the two groups with the 5th year students better able to think critically, particularly in deducing conclusions and evaluating arguments. Both quantitative and qualitative data from the two groups revealed a non-linear developmental trajectory of skills that provide insights for professionals in higher education.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Service-learning, critical thinking, cultural competence
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Goldberg, LR (Associate Professor Lyn Goldberg)
ID Code:95584
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-10-03
Last Modified:2014-12-21
Downloads:444 View Download Statistics

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