Analysis from the Capabilities Approach of the Contributions of Service Learning for Students of a South African University

Keywords: Higher education, human development, capabilities approach, service learning

Abstract

This article addresses the contradiction between training oriented to technical capabilities and training focusing on socially valued capabilities. Its purpose is to value pedagogical experiences that contribute to the expansion of valuable professional skills for students and society. Based on the capabilities approach for human development (CAHD), we analyzed the contribution to the expansion of student capacities that is promoted by curricular service-learning (ApS) practices, developed at the University of the Free State (UFS), South Africa. The analysis is based on the application of the following qualitative techniques: documentary review, participant observation, and semi-structured interviews. The results make visible the expansion of socially valued capacities in the students and serve as a guide for recommendations of institutional changes for curricular integration and institutional valorization of ApS, as a transforming formative experience.

Author Biographies

Carmen Monge-Hernández, Universidad Nacional

Docente y extensionista de la Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica (UNA). Experiencia como asesora de proyectos de extensión universitaria de la Vicerrectoría de Extensión de la UNA. Máster en Cooperación al Desarrollo y actualmente estudiante del programa doctoral en desarrollo local y cooperación internacional de la U. Politécnica de Valencia.  Las temáticas de interés son el desarrollo humano, la universidad, la extensión universitaria y el desarrollo local participativo.

Alejandra Boni-Aristizábal, Universitat Politècnica de València

Catedrática del Departamento de Proyectos de Ingeniería de la U. Politécnica de Valencia. Vice directora e investigadora Ingenio (CSIC – UPV). Doctora en Derecho por la U. de Valencia en el Programa de Derechos Humanos y Democracia. Ha sido investigadora invitada de varias universidades como el Institute of Development Studies en Sussex (2007), el Institute of Social Studies de la Haya (2009), Research Centre for Leadership in Action de la U. de Nueva York (2011), el Instituto Pensar de la U. Javieriana de Bogota (2011 y 2013), la U. de Free State de Sudáfrica (2013 y 2014).

Merridy Wilson-Strydom, University of the Free State

Associate Professor in the SARCHI Chair in Higher Education and Human Development (HEHD) Research Programme. Her work centers on social justice in and through higher education, with a particular focus on inequalities in the contexts of university access and undergraduate education. Merridy has published widely in the fields of higher education and human development/capability approach and is currently a co-researcher on a large-scale ESRC-DfID-funded project (2017–2020) on inclusive higher education learning outcomes (understood as capabilities) for rural and township youth in South Africa.

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Published
2020-07-08
How to Cite
Monge-Hernández, C., Boni-Aristizábal, A., & Wilson-Strydom, M. (2020). Analysis from the Capabilities Approach of the Contributions of Service Learning for Students of a South African University. Revista Electrónica Educare, 24(3), 1-24. https://doi.org/10.15359/ree.24-3.3

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