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Title:Service learning in postsecondary technology education: Educational promises and challenges in student values development
Author(s):An, Junghyun
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bruce, Bertram C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bresler, Liora; Hug, Barbara; Christians, Clifford G.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Secondary and Continuing Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Technological literacy
Social responsibility
Professional development
Ethic of care
Community participatory
Values development
Abstract:My dissertation research begins with the call for technology education to transcend the individualistic and exclusive culture of technology experts, which has been reproduced through skill-based training and transmission of content knowledge. In the search for alternative models for postsecondary technology education, my research investigates a computer training course (INIS) that has incorporated community service projects since fall 2000. Guided by Dewey's vision of democratic education, this study inquires into the nature, reality, and implications of a practice of interdisciplinary, service learning. Through this journey, it derives knowledge about effective service integration in technology for social change. The INIS course is designed for training future librarians, media specialists, and system librarians to acquire basic concepts about computer-networked information systems. Through the service projects, which are implemented in coordination with two university-level organizations, students collaborate in designing and building computer labs for disadvantaged community organizations in regional urban areas. In order to understand the complexity of this service-learning practice, I studied this course in terms of its situated contexts, the rationales behind the service integration, and the actual patterns of teaching and learning. The course curriculum needs to be further developed to strengthen students' community building with their community partners and to foster their critical thinking about the larger issues of technology in relation to marginalized communities. However, despite its current limitations, this case still suggests an alternative model of learning about technology through service integration. The teacher intends to create a student practice of technology from a pragmatic perspective, emphasizing the importance of understanding the user sphere for designing and building technology. The experiential learning in the course engages students in contextual, problem-based activities on technology and enhances their moral sensibilities. In addition to analyzing the INIS students' service learning and the curriculum, I discussed with the instructor the challenges and future direction of service integration in technology education in general as well as specifically in relation to this course. Through my analytical discussion of this service learning, I also address larger issues related to three different levels (course-, program-, and institutional) of support or change in order to create a holistic praxis of technology education to foster social responsibility.
Issue Date:2008
Rights Information:Copyright 2008 Junghyun An
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-11-07

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