Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education, Vol 6, No 1 (2018)

Service Learning and Solidarity: Politics, Possibilities and Challenges of Experiential Learning

Sheena Cameron, Jonathan Langdon, Coleman Agyeyomah


International volunteering and experiential learning programs provide important opportunities for personal and academic growth for students, universities and communities, however, they also have the potential of reinforcing neocolonial frameworks of power and privilege. Furthermore, these programs occur more and more in an academic context where short-term experiences are promoted, and long-term programs abandoned in the wake of neoliberal university policies. This paper is a reflection on the politics, possibilities and challenges of starting a new experiential learning endeavor through the Service Learning Program at St. Francis Xavier (StFX) University from a critical standpoint by exploring tensions and power dynamics of such programs whilst working from a decolonizing and solidarity-based pedagogy of development. 


international service learning; institutions; power; solidarity; neo-colonialism; neoliberalism; decolonizing; short term; leadership; partnership

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