Putting community first: Reflections on history, identity, and power in local and global service-learning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Service-learning studios provide qualitatively different design education experiences, engendering new awareness and critical insights among students (Dearborn, 2011). This chapter examines service-learning projects in East St. Louis, Illinois (ESL), and São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) in Africa, conducted through Action Research Illinois (ARI). For 25 years, the action research programs at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have partnered with organizations and residents in distressed communities through service-learning efforts that enable university students, staff, and faculty to address important community-identifi ed concerns through an iterative process of information gathering, application, and refl ection. ARI puts community needs and voices fi rst while also communicating to students the history and power structures that underpin a community’s current social, economic, and physical contexts. When working closely with community members, students can come to understand the value of local knowledge within design and planning practices.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCommunity Matters
Subtitle of host publicationService-Learning in Engaged Design and Planning
EditorsMallika Bose, Paula Horrigan, Cheryl Doble, Sigmund C Shipp
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781315848730
ISBN (Print)9780415723879, 9780415723893
StatePublished - Apr 24 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEarthscan Tools for Community Planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Putting community first: Reflections on history, identity, and power in local and global service-learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this