Background on the Theme

For additional background on the IARSLCE conference theme, Connected Knowing, read our first post from KerryAnn O'Meara, the 2012 conference program chair

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dwight E. Giles, Jr. PhD., NERCHE, UMass-Boston

Dwight is a Professor of Higher Education Administration and a Senior Associate at the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) at UMASS Boston. He is also the 2009 recipient of the IARSLCE Distinguished Research Award.

Connected Knowing has been a central element of service-learning research efforts from the beginning. As a co-author of the first national service-learning research agenda that was developed by the National Society for Internships and Experiential Education, our primary purpose for furthering service-learning research was to inform and improve our practice (Giles, Honnet & Migliore, 1991). For me, IARSLCE continues that tradition as a research organization that strives to be ‘practitioner friendly’. 

Given the split in the academy between research and practice, theory and applied knowledge, there are few forums where these two can come together and inform each other. Our field and research questions have evolved over the last two decades from the ‘simple’ question of Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning?” to much broader questions encompassing all aspects of community engagement including impacts and roles of community partners, the development and understanding of engaged scholarship and institutional engagement.  I look forward to the 2102 conference to further the connections between knowing and doing, to push the boundaries of our field beyond our current understandings of what types of scholarship count, and how to connect with additional ways of knowing.

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