IARSLCE is seeking proposal reviewers for the 2017 Conference to be held in Galway, Ireland, September 14th-16th.
Submission reviews are being accepted now through March 10. Reviews will be assigned by March 15 and reviews will be due on April 7. With the support of the conference planning committee and the IARSLCE Board, proposal reviewers are responsible for reading and evaluating presentation/poster proposals within a selected strand of the conference. An on-line document review system provided by Omnipress and administrative support from the IARSLCE office facilitates the process.
Please consider serving as a proposal reviewer as a way of supporting research and scholarship in service-learning and community engagement. To indicate your interest, please complete this form by Friday, March 10, 2017.
1. International and Global Community Engagement and Service Learning
Community engagement and service learning research and scholarship is gaining great traction internationally with many institutions mainstreaming related practices. In many regions and countries networks of support, leadership and advocacy have emerged to create a critical mass of scholars and practices. The 2010 IARSLCE conference drew participants from 13 different countries with this increasing to 17 in 2015. We aim to increase the international engagement dimension in 2017. Within this topic, we encourage the presentations of research and scholarship within international settings that grow collective understandings of community engagement and service-learning research within, between and across geographic borders.
2. Assessment, Metrics, Evaluation and Impact
We welcome presentations that explore impact through various methodologies including but not exclusively related to assessment, metrics and evaluation. As the field of community engagement and service learning continues to grow and thrive, the need for strong and robust techniques to demonstrate impact is necessary for institutionalization and mainstreaming. In particular, we welcome presentations that address the cultural implications of community engagement and service learning and methodologies developed to explore and track impact. This is one of the major pressing international issues within the field with many concerns about the future of this work, as we exist in an era of demonstrable impact and international league tables.
3. Knowledge Democracy and Engaged Research
IARSLCE 2017 invites presentations that broadly explore the idea of knowledge democracy in terms of sharing and exploring knowledge between institutions of higher education and community through reciprocity and mutuality. Some of these may focus on community engaged research as a methodological approach or other strategies that engage knowledge in new, innovative and democratic ways to enable social understanding and change. This topic draws from the President of Ireland’s support for “knowledge, insight and vision are put at the service of the community”. To extend this further we pursue presentations that demonstrate knowledge democracy within and between the community and the university through mutuality and reciprocity.
4. Ethics of Engagement and ethical engagement
Emanating from the President of Ireland’s concepts of ethical renewal, this topic encourages presentations that explore the ethics of engagement while being mindful of power and justice dynamics that may exist within the relationships that underpin community engagement and service learning. Research and scholarship that explore the ethics of engagement and ethical engagement towards a renewal of conversations that address meaningful relationships are welcomes.
5. Fragmentation and Otherness – Exploring Inclusion and Justice
In a time of political change, protest, conflict and refugee crisis, we welcome presentations that explore how service learning and community engagement explore, articulate and enhance a culture of inclusion and justice. Leading on from elements of this topic in 2017, we encourage a focus on the “hard” questions that have yet to be fully explored and the critical debates that must happen in order to advance our collective efforts to ensure inclusion and justice is at the center of our community engaged research and scholarship.
6. Community Relationships
The Association’s Reaffirmation Statement articulates a shared understanding of a renewed commitment to our values and the guiding principles of our scholarly practice. A key component is our commitment to community, stated as follows:
“IARSLCE is explicit in encouraging research conducted through collaborative
research methods used to study service-learning and community engagement
as well as studies that help to better understand the dynamics and outcomes
of collaborations between community and educational entities (across the
This topic encourages submissions that ask questions of significance to community and particularly welcomes epistemological and methodological innovations.
A major focus of community engagement and service-learning research has been the impact of programs or initiatives on students; on their academic learning, personal, ethical, and career development, civic and political education, on student voice and leadership and more importantly on access, retention, and success. We need to continue to examine these questions, particularly across the diversity of our student populations and international contexts. This topic encourages submissions that explore research and scholarship related to students as learners, change agents, and as full participants in our societies.
8. Institutional and National Leadership, Structure and Policy
An increased understanding of institutional and national leadership, structures and policy is needed to sustain and enhance service-learning and community engagement scholarship and practice within and across higher education. The topic is one that was explored in 2015 and 2016 and one that is needed to explore the moving forth from projects towards strategic goals that advance our research and our teaching at institutional, national and regional levels. We welcome international perspectives on institutional and national strategies adopted to create both a momentum and movement on the core nature of community engagement within higher education.
9. Primary, Post-primary, K-12 Civic and Learning Outcomes and Teacher Education
A theme in the literature on K-12 service-learning is that the quality of the program experience is a strong determinant of participant impacts: the shorthand is that ‘quality matters’. But what constitutes a quality service-learning experience? To what extent is there a common understanding of K-12 service-learning research and practice about common terms such as “youth voice” or “community partnership”, and to what extent do we understand why those characteristics or the other commonly accepted elements of effective practice make a difference?
Teacher education faculty members seek to prepare prospective K-12 teachers with a conceptual understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of engaged pedagogical approaches, including project-based, problem-based, discovery, and service-learning. Many novice and veteran teachers however, encounter significant challenges when attempting to utilize service-learning pedagogy in K-12 classrooms.
This track encourages proposals that will help us expand our understanding of the service-learning experiences for K-12 students, and how that learning impacts the participants, partners, and communities that are involved. In addition, this track seeks proposals that will help us expand our understanding of the ways we can effectively prepare prospective teachers (as well as support in-service teachers) who utilize service-learning pedagogy. What enabling conditions must be in place for teachers to successfully implement and sustain service-learning pedagogy? And what policies are in place or being developed locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally to encourage community engagement and service-learning for our K-12 students.
10. Epistemological and Methodological Innovations
Given the breath of disciplines that contribute to the research on service-learning and community engagement, we welcome and embrace all paradigms of research and theoretical inquiry. Along with traditional, quantitative, experimental, and social science research methodologies, we wish to advance more and improved research conducted through community-engaged approaches such as participatory research. We promote collaborative research methods to help us better understand the dynamics and outcomes of collaborations through partnerships between community and educational entities (across the educational spectrum).
This topic encourages proposals that ask what critical research questions are surfacing in service-learning and community engagement research. What methods are needed to explore such questions? What can we learn from other disciplines as we explore our critical questions? What indigenous and contextual ways of knowing and inquiry are meaningful to the communities we research with? How are we truly co-researchers in the discovery process? We particularly seek proposals that examine or critique different theories, research designs, and methods used in community engagement and service-learning research.
11. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) has not been a significant aspect of the service-learning literature, despite the canon of research framing service-learning as pedagogy and focusing on the impact of student learning outcomes. Given this, how do we intersect SoTL with research on service-learning and community engagement (SLCE)?
By calling attention to this gap, this track seeks to intentionally intersect SoTL with SLCE research to pose critical questions that are research-based and research-focused, as well as theory building. For example: How do we facilitate SLCE to achieve intended outcomes? What teaching and learning strategies improve outcomes? How do specific course design models engage student learning in service-learning and lead to specific outcomes? How does service-learning and community engagement impact teaching and learning? How does the pedagogical practice inform teaching and learning practices? What effective methodological approaches of research can inform curriculum development in the area of SLCE? We encourage proposals that engage in critical questions through research on teaching and learning in SLCE that will help address this gap in the current canon.