|Strengthening an Ethical Platform for International Engagement and Service-learning at UBC: Filling knowledge and educational resource gaps
|Year 1: Project Title
|Establishing a Sustainable Platform for Ethical Informational Service Learning Practice
|Year 1: Project Year
|Year 1: Funding Year
|Year 1: Project Type
|Year 1: Principal Investigator
|Year 1: Funded Amount
|Year 1: Team Members
Shafik Dharamsi, Assistant Professor, Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine / College of Health Disciplines
|Year 1: Summary
There is a growing concern among several faculty and students at UBC around the conflicting motivations for international service learning (ISL). Motivations range from a positive desire to promote equity, and to work with and for communities, as well as, and sometimes primarily to, fulfill a graduation requirement, enhance a resume, and/or secure research funds. The negative impact of these often conflicting motivations to the goals of ISL projects and the communities that host volunteers were echoed in a recently published (28/09/2008) Maclean's article titled "Helping the world. And Me."
TLEF support will enable: 1) a constructive dialogue series at UBC for students and faculty to identify and respond to the ethical implications of international service learning, e.g. disruption of community, stereotyping, disrespectful behaviour, creation of dependence, practicing clinical skills without qualifications, etc.; 2) development of a capacity building curriculum for faculty and students that highlights ethical and social justice principles for effective ISL practice; 3) a web-based guide-book for highlighting best ISL practices using a social justice framework; and 4) planning for a model course using a social justice framed ISL component.
|Year 2: Project Year
|Year 2: Funding Year
|Year 2: Project Type
|Year 2: Principal Investigator
|Year 2: Funded Amount
|Year 2: Team Members
Kendra Foster, Student, Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, Faculty of Graduate Studies / Population and Public Health / Faculty of Medicine
|Year 2: Summary
A 2009/10 TLEF grant to Dr. Dharamsi enabled the successful development and implementation of a UBC-wide project for students and faculty to identify ethical issues around international engagement and service-learning (IESL) and to develop capacity through workshops for addressing these issues. IESL opportunities are an increasingly popular way for UBC students, staff and faculty to augment their teaching and learning experiences, inline with both UBC’s TREK 2010 and Place of Mind missions. There is growing concern and evidence that IESL opportunities are often being pursued without ethical preparation or established guidelines (“best practices”), potentially placing vulnerable communities at risk for exploitation and unintentional harm.
This second, now student-led phase of the Ethics of International Engagement and Service-learning (EIESL) Project (under Dr. Dharamsi’s supervision) proposes to further strengthen an ethical platform for IESL practices. We will develop an easy to use “EIESL Kit” and a decentralized approach to delivering small-group dialogue-based workshops and seminars involving student, faculty and staff.