DOI: 10.1177/10538259231193730 ISSN:

A Cross-Sectional, Decade-Long Examination of the Impacts of International Service Learning in Teacher Education

Sean P. Kearney, Julie Maakrun, Thuan Thai, Vidya Sagar Athota
  • Education

Background: The literature has expounded on the impacts of international service-learning (ISL) in teacher education as positively affecting everything from improving academic achievement to developing a greater moral and ethical sense. Other studies have examined the role of cultural competence and dimensions of power between those providing and receiving service. Purpose: This paper examines a decade-long ISL immersion program to understand the outcomes on students in three key areas that have received attention in the literature: motivation, employment, and academics. Methodology: A longitudinal case study comprising a cross-section of students who were asked to reflect on their immersion experiences, which took place from 2011 to 2020. Reflective journals completed during and directly after each immersion supplemented the survey data. Findings: While much of the data supports previous studies regarding the impacts of ISL, there are some anomalous findings, especially in the longer-term effects of ISL within teacher education. While participants’ perceptions of the impacts were significant, evidence of that impact was lacking. Implications: Although short-term impacts of the immersion were more significantly noted, students perceived the impact for more extended periods than previously thought. However, the evidence to suggest that these perceptions are realizable is lacking.

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