Community Forums: A Unique Approach to Community Service-Learning


  • Sherrie Steiner Booth University College
  • Michael Smith Booth Univeristy College
  • Buetta Warkentin Booth University College


We evaluated a Manitoba college's service-learning program that was uniquely designed to prioritize the voice of community organizations over the critical discourse of higher education.  Seventy three questionnaires were given to attendees; 24 individuals returned the completed questionnaires (response rate of 33%).  Two variables were constructed, COLLABORATIVE and CRITICAL, and the difference between their means on a one-tailed t-test obtained significance at the 0.05 level.  Open-ended question responses emphasized problem-solving, civic-engagement, and the complexity of the issue.  Results indicate the program's unique design successfully prioritized community voices, supporting other researchers' service-learning findings of tension between the academic discourse of rigor and the collaborative discourse of community development.

Key words:  service-learning, community organizations, Bourdieu



How to Cite

Steiner, S., Smith, M., & Warkentin, B. (2011). Community Forums: A Unique Approach to Community Service-Learning. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 34(1), 282–307. Retrieved from