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Resistance versus Transformation: Exploring the Transformative Potential of High-Impact Service-Learning Experiences

Lisa Jakubowski, Martin McIntosh


Guided by the Social Change Paradigm of Service (Morton, 1995), this case study focuses on the service-learning experience emerging out of the partnership between the Community Development Program at Brescia University College and the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) in London, Ontario, Canada. Critical to the experience is a relationship based on trust and mutual learning between the professor and community partner. Service-learning is conceptualized as a transformational learning model that has as its foundation, Cranton’s (2002) facets of transformative learning. Particularly important to this model are activating events. When an activating event occurs that does not fit with a student’s expectation of how things should be, two outcomes are possible: resistance or transformation. When combined with personal reflection and dialogue, the sharing of lived experience by a person connected to RHAC has been a powerful activator for moving students from being resistant towards personal transformation.

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Partnerships is sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact, and hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ISSN: 1944-1061
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