Curriculum development for sustainable civic engagement
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Boland, Josephine (2013) 'Curriculum development for sustainable civic engagement' In: O'Farrell, Ciara and Farrell, Alison(Eds.). Emerging Issues in Higher Education III: From Capacity Building to Sustainability. Dublin : Educational Developers of Ireland Network.
Capacity building both for students and for community partners is an explicit goal for one particular teaching and learning innovation in Irish higher education. In addition to offering the opportunity to apply discipline-specific knowledge and skills, community-engaged learning (or service learning) aims to develop students capacity for autonomy, insight and active citizenship while meeting community needs and building community capacity. A central role of the academic is to plan a curriculum for civic engagement a process which includes attending to values, outcomes, pedagogy, assessment and evaluation which captures the diverse goals of the pedagogy, while meeting the requirements of a credit-based framework and related quality assurance systems. Academics have demonstrated considerable ingenuity in their ability to do this, often with the aid of educational developers who have supported these developments. The chapter focuses on the process by which academics design/redesign curricula to embed a civic dimension with the potential for capacity building for all partners in the process and the inherent tensions in that endeavour. A range of strategies which have been deployed in practice will be outlined as will a typology of approaches to curriculum design for the pedagogy. The implications of different curriculum design for the sustainability of the pedagogy are also examined, especially within the challenging and demanding milieu of contemporary higher education.