The ‘theoretical foundations’ of community service-learning: from taproots to rhizomes

As a relatively new education phenomenon community, service-learning has been subjected to various criticisms. One of the criticisms is that its theoretical foundation is thin. In this article, I review efforts at tracing the theoretical roots of service-learning. Furthermore, I trouble the idea of seeking theoretical alibis for justifying educational work generally and service-learning more specifically. I argue that tracing the theoretical roots of service-learning is based on arborescent thinking, which is hierarchical and dichotomous. I propose that service-learning might be thought of rhizomatically so as to affirm what is excluded in western thought, creating new knowledge spaces in which indigenous knowledge and western knowledge can be transformed and integrated.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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