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Faculty and Administrative Partnerships: Disciplinary Differences in Perceptions of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning at a Large, Research-Extensive University

Steven G. Buzinski, Paul Dean, Theresa A. Donofrio, Abram Fox, Amanda T. Berger, Lynne P. Heighton, Ali Fuad Selvi, Lenea H. Stocker


In recent years, considerable energy has been expended attempting to define, evaluate and promote active learning pedagogies such as civic engagement and service-learning. Yet much of this scholarship treats civic engagement and service-learning at either a macroscopic level (studying an entire university system) or microscopic level (studying a particular course or project). There has been comparably less research examining how different disciplinary cultures influence the conceptualization and implementation of active learning pedagogies within individual institutions. This study draws on quantitative survey methodologies to examine faculty perceptions of civic engagement and service-learning at a major public research university within and across four disciplines: the Humanities, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and the Applied Professions. Quantitative results reveal significant variance in disciplinary approaches to civic engagement and service-learning across a variety of measures including advocacy, concerns, and goals for active learning pedagogies. The findings suggest several strategies for recognizing disciplinary differences and encouraging collaboration among faculty and between disciplines on civic engagement and service-learning approaches in higher education.


active learning; advocacy; civic engagement; discipline; perception; service-learning

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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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