Cultural Perspectives on Social Responsibility in Higher Education

  • Iris M Yob Walden University
Keywords: Social responsibility, higher education, motivation, social justice, empowerment, social change

Abstract

The writers of the UNESCO document, Rethinking education: Towards a global common good? challenge educators to address their efforts to meet the current threats to sustainable life for all who share this planet. One way that higher education has been attempting to do this is through campus-community partnerships working to solve social problems locally or further afield. In this exploratory study, answers were sought to the question of why faculty members and administrators participate in these service partnerships, both in terms of what motivates them to do so and what they hope to accomplish, and how cultural context may influence their answers. Answers to these questions may have implications for faculty recruitment and support and for curriculum design and student preparation for serving the common good as well as for the larger vision of how institutions might fulfill their social responsibility. Using one-on-one semi-structured interviews in a number of different countries, some trends could be identified. Responding to a sense of duty was found across all cultural contexts as a primary motivator for faculty members and administrators, but how duty was interpreted and legitimized depended on their various religious and political grounds. Cultural context also influenced whether participants saw their impact as empowering their service partners or establishing social justice. 

Author Biography

Iris M Yob, Walden University
Iris Yob, originally from Australia where she taught in teacher education, came to the USA in 1983 to study at Harvard University where she obtained her doctoral degree in the philosophy of education. She has taught at the State University of New York, Geneseo, and administered the academic program at the Living Learning Center at Indiana University. She joined Walden University in 1996 as a part-time faculty member in the PhD in Education program, and later became the Program Director then Associate Dean of the program. She is currently Director, Social Change Initiatives in the Center for Faculty Excellence. With several recent awards, Laureate Higher Education Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award, the Walden University College of Education Educational Leadership Research Grant, and the David A. Wilson Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, she has undertaken research on online mentoring, assessing graduate independent studies in the workplace, social change, and professional education. She has published in Studies in Philosophy and Education, Educational Theory, Aesthetic Education, Religion and Education, Religious Studies, Religious Education, and Philosophy of Music Education, as well several book chapters. Her research approaches are philosophical and qualitative.

References

Abaidoo, S., & Wachniak, L. (2007). Re-thinking graduate education: An imperative for a changing world. International Journal of Learning, 14(5), 205-214. Retrieved from http://www.Learning-Journal.com.

Boland, J. (2010). Teaching and learning through civic engagement: Prospects for sustainability in teacher education. Issues in Educational Research, 20(1), 1-20.

Borden, L M. and Perkins, D. F. (1999). Assessing your collaboration: A self-evaluation tool. Journal of Extension, 37(2). Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/1999april/tt1.php, Jan 27, 2016.

Boyer, E.L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Brennan, J. (2008). Higher education and social change. Higher Education, 56(3), 381-393. doi: 10.1007/s10734-008-9126-4.

Bulot, J. J., and Johnson, C. J. (2006). Rewards and costs of faculty involvement in intergenerational service-Learning. Educational Gerontology, 32(8), 633-645. doi:10.1080/03601270500494121

Choules, K. (2007) Social change education: Context matters. Adult Education Quarterly, 57(2), 159–176. Retrieved from http://www.cdlr.tamu.edu/tcall/aaace/publications/aeq/.

Cooper, J. R. (2014). Ten years in the trenches: Faculty perspectives on sustaining service-learning. Journal of Experiential Education, 37(4), 415-428. doi:10.1177/1053825913513721

Ergen, G. (2015). Hierarchical classification of values. International Journal of Progressive Education, 11(3), 162-182. Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 27, 2016).

Faust, D. (2015). On public service. Harvard Magazine, 117(3), 3

Freire, P. (1990). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. NY: Continuum Publishing Company.

Furco, A., and Root, S. (2010). Research demonstrates the value of service-learning. Kappan, 91(5), 16-20. Retrieved from http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kappan.htm.

George, C., Shams, A.N., and Dunkel, F. V. (2011). Lessons learned in an international service-learning collaborative: Shea Butter case study. NACTA Journal. 55 (2), 71-77. Retrieved from http://www.nactateachers.org/.

Gerstenblatt P. (2014). Community as agency: Community partner experiences with service learning. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 7(2):60-71. Available from Education Research Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed January 27, 2016.

Giroux, H. A. (2011). Paulo Freire and the courage to be political. Our schools / Our selves, 20(2), 153–163.

Giroux, H. A. (2012). Education and the crisis of public values. (Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang).

Grönlund, H., Holmes, K., Kang, C., Cnaan, R. A., Handy, F., Brudney, J. L., Haski-Leventhal, D., Hustinx, L., Kassam, M., Meijs, L.C. P. M., Pessi, A.B., Ranade, B., Smith, K., Yamauchi, N., and Zrinščak, S. (2011). Cultural values and volunteering: A cross-cultural comparison of students’ motivation to volunteer in 13 countries. Journal of Academic Ethics, 9(2), 87-106. doi:10.1007/s10805-011-9131-6

Kim, S., and Vandenabeele, W. (2010). A strategy for building public service motivation research internationally. Public Administration Review, 70, 701-709.

Kim, S., Vandenabeele, W., Wright, B. E., Andersen, L. B., Cerase, F. P., Christensen, R. K., Robert K.; Desmarais, C., Koumenta, M., Leisink, P., Bangcheng L., Palidauskaite, J., Pedersen, L. H., Perry, J. L., Ritz, A., Taylor, J., and De Vivo, P. (2013). Investigating the structure and meaning of public service motivation across populations: Developing an international instrument and addressing issues of measurement invariance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 23(1), 79-102. doi:10.1093/jopart/mus027.

McDonald, J., and Dominguez, L. A. (2015). Developing university and community partnerships: A critical piece of successful service learning. Journal of College Science Teaching, 44(3), 52-56.

Miller, K. K, and Gonzalez, A. M. (2010). Domestic and international service learning experiences: A comparative study of pre-service teacher outcomes. Issues in educational research 20(1), 29-38. Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed February 5, 2016).

Moore, E. W., Warta, S., & Erichsen, K. (2014). College students’ volunteering: Factors related to current volunteering, volunteer settings, and motives for volunteering. College Student Journal, 48(3), 386-396.

Mullen, S. (2010). Integrating a service and learning paradigm in a Christian education environment. Christian Education Journal, 7(1), 162-171. Retrieved from http://www.biola.edu.

Murphy, T. (2010). Conversations on engaged pedagogies, independent thinking skills and active citizenship. Issues in Educational Research, 20(1), 39-46.

Ngee, L.M. (2011). Youth-led initiative in community service projects and their learning experience. US-China Education Review, A(2a), 281-288.

Nicotera, N., Cutforth, N., Fretz, E., and Summers Thompson, S. (2011). Dedication to community engagement: A higher education conundrum? Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 4(1), 37-49

Okech, D., & Barner, J. R. (2014). MSW students’ motivations for taking an international social work elective course. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 34(2), 167-181. doi:10.1080/08841233.2014.892051

Perry, J. L., and Wise, L. R. (1990). The motivational bases of public service. Public Administration Review, 50(3), 367-373.

Phillips, L. A. (2013). Working adult undergraduate students’ interest and motivation in service learning and volunteering. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 61(2), 68-73. doi:10.1080/07377363.2013.796239

Ponder, J., Veldt, M. V., & Lewis-Ferrell, G. (2011). Citzenship, curriculum, and critical thinking beyond the four walls of the classroom: Linking the academic content with service-Learning. Teacher Education Quarterly, 38(4), 45-68.

Rethinking education: Towards a global common good. (2015). Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Rosengarten, K. L., Bergman, G., Kramer, K., Hemmert, A., and Messick, M. (2010). Service-Learning: An educational experience. AURCO Journal 16, 137-150. Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 27, 2016).

Sobrero, P., and Jayaratne, K. U. (2014). Scholarship perceptions of academic department heads: Implications for promoting faculty community engagement scholarship. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 18(1), 123-151.

Wei-Wen, C., Cheng-Hui, L. C., Yu-Fu, H., & Yu-His, Y. (2012). Exploring the unknown: International service and individual transformation. Adult Education Quarterly. 62 (3), 230-251. doi: 10.1177/074171361140204.

Yob, I. M., & Ferraro A. (2013). “Political Engagement in Higher Education Curricula,” Journal of Social Change, 5, 1-10.

Yob, I. M. (2016). Religion and music in an education for social change. Under review for publication.

Yob, I. M. and Brewer, P. (2016). Working Toward the Common Good: A University Community’s Perspectives on Social Change. Under review for publication.

Published
2016-06-30
How to Cite
Yob, I. M. (2016). Cultural Perspectives on Social Responsibility in Higher Education. Higher Learning Research Communications, 6(2), 116-136. https://doi.org/10.18870/hlrc.v6i2.306
Section
Articles