Author ORCID Identifier

Roberts - https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7618-7850


Universities are increasingly working to better prepare students for success in the workforce and increasingly advocating high-impact learning experiences. This case study explores the short-term impacts on students who participated in a short-term service-learning study abroad program in Ireland through a lens of Transformative Learning Theory. Data collection consisted of (a) a pre-participation interview, (b) a follow-up interview, and (c) participant observation. We found evidence of all four tenets of Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory: (a) refining meaning schema, (b) learning new schema, (c) transforming schemes, and (d) transforming perspectives. Emergent subthemes related to service-learning or personal growth were discovered within each of these tenets. We concluded that while this program was not intentionally designed with Transformative Learning Theory as a means to deliver an educational curriculum, there are transformational learning aspects inherent to study abroad as well as service-learning. Based on this study, we offer recommendations for best practices for facilitating service-learning study abroad programs and for future research.



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