Article Title

International service learning: Benefits to African teachers

Abstract

This paper reports on a study aimed at exploring the benefits of an international service-learning experience for teachers employed in a rural primary school in Africa. The primary school, where these teachers are employed was the focal point of an international visit in December 2012 by twenty-four undergraduate primary education students from the University of Notre Dame, Australia. Teachers were interviewed and their responses analysed qualitatively. Explorations of teacher benefits of this visit were articulated in themes that emerged including benefits to the children at the school and the impact the visit had on teacher pedagogy. Teacher responses revealed that the teachers valued the visit immensely as it provided a balance to the school curriculum which teachers articulated as having its primary focus on the country’s national standardised testing regime. The article serves as an initial investigation into the gap that exists in current service learning literature, namely the impact of international service learning experiences for members of the host community. Limitations of this study and future implications of this specific visit are also explored.

Keywords

qualitative study, teachers, international service-learning, Africa, service learning literature

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