Using Service-Learning as a Tool to Develop Intercultural Understanding
Keywords:service-learning, intercultural competence, Costa Rica, high school
Service-learning provides a wide range of opportunities for students to develop intercultural understanding. As a practice, service-learning has the potential to strengthen the development of student attitudes that support collaboration between people of different cultural groups. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the ways in which engaging in international service-learning could be used to leverage students’ development of intercultural understanding. Nineteen urban high school students from a predominantly low SES school engaged in a service-learning experience for two weeks in Costa Rica. This manuscript chronicles the process and procedures undertaken to prepare and engage students throughout the service-learning process and highlights the understandings that were cultivated.