Service-Learning and Civic Engagement: Environmental Awareness in Hawai‘i

Date
2020-06-26
Authors
Mironesco, Monique
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Taylor & Francis
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Abstract
While voter turnout is often seen as one definitive aspect of civic engagement, this paper argues that there are more nuanced ways to reflect on the impact of service-learning experiences on students’ environmental awareness and environmentally responsible behavior changes. Using course evaluation qualitative comments in environ-mental politics-themed courses that have used service-learning as a pedagogical tool for the past 8 years, this paper argues that environ-mental awareness and its subsequent application in activism reflect civic engagement through changes in environmental behavior. Service-learning enables students to make connections between the course material and real-world environmental issues, showing them how various communities are attempting to solve certain environ-mental problems. The focus on problem-solving skills in this particu-lar domain enables students to see themselves as agents of change, though the long-term effects of these changes are difficult to ascer-tain. The Hawaiʻi context is particularly important due to the pleth-ora of environmental problems we face, and the additional fact that we live both in somewhat of a closed and geographically isolated system as well as being susceptible to a variety of outside systemic influences and forces. If we are not enabling the next generation of environmental problem solvers through higher education, our “sea of islands” as aptly termed by scholar Epeli Hau‘ofa, has a lot to lose.
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This is an Accepted Manuscript (AM) of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Political Science Education on June 26, 2020, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15512169.2020.1777146. The embargo for this article is 18 months as per publisher restrictions and will be made publicly available here on December 26, 2021. The AM is modified from original published version to conform to ADA standards. To request this article as an interlibrary loan before the embargo period, please email your request to uhwoill@westoahu-hawaii.libanswers.com.
Keywords
civic engagement, environmentally responsible behavior, service learning
Citation
Monique Mironesco (2020): Service-Learning and Civic Engagement: Environmental Awareness in Hawai‘i, Journal of Political Science Education, DOI: 10.1080/15512169.2020.1777146
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16 pages
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Article is made available in accordance with the publisher's policy and may be subject to US copyright law. Please refer to the publisher's site for terms of use.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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