chapter  8
National University of Ireland, Galway
Developing service learning as an ethos and practice
WithLorraine McIlrath, Ruth McMenamin
Pages 19

This chapter describes one specific aspect of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), namely the pillar of service learning. It provides an overview of the rationale, strategies, practices and reflections on institutionalising service learning as a pedagogical approach at the National University of Ireland Galway. The chapter offers a specific and concentrated focus on the development of a distinguished, well-established and mainstreamed service learning course, entitled the Service Learning Conversation Partner Programme. The CKI sought not only to strengthen existing links with local, national and international communities, but also to foster an ethos of civic spirit, active citizenship and social responsibility among the university community. The Department of Information Technology, in the Master’s in Information Technology course, offers a service leaning experience in the form of a project, whereby students work with a community agency and build the capacity of that organisation in terms of technology.