Serving in One's Own Community: Taking a Second Look at Our Assumptions


  • Molly Mead Tufts University


Higher Education, Service Education, Community Empowerment


What difference does it make if the students in a community service education project are from the communities being served? On the basis of over 20 years of experience, the authors warn that superficial conclusions about who the students are can easily interfere with effective teaching of such projects. They also develop their approach to community service education: community empowerment through action research. Those most affected by the conditions being researched must be involved in posing the research questions, determining how the results of the research will be used, and mobilizing for change-oriented action.