Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Community Engagement Division
Qualitative outcomes of a pilot study which seeks to investigate the ways and extent to which service-learning impacts the development of empathy in undergraduate engineering students are presented. Service-learning is an experiential education pedagogy in which students engage in activities designed to tackle community needs within structured opportunities to promote learning and development. Community service, teamwork, problem-solving, and reflection are common elements within service-learning activities. This educational approach can provide students with real-world scenarios that connect classroom theory and knowledge to community needs.
A brief literature review on service-learning within engineering education, is presented alongside brief background on the meaning of empathy. This is followed by initial qualitative findings around a service-learning trip within an undergraduate engineering course involving 13 student participants. The findings indicate service-learning in a foreign community can serve as a platform for the development of empathy in engineering undergraduates. The development of empathy can be fostered within three main findings: group dynamics, interactions with the community, and individual interpretation of the service-learning experience through self-reflection. This paper concludes with a discussion on how these three findings collectively influence the development of empathy in students. This paper provides a qualitative approach to contextualizing the development of empathy as a learning outcome for engineering educators interested in service-learning.
Wang, L., & Carroll, T. K., & Delaine, D. A. (2018, June), A Pilot Study of the Development of Empathy within a Service-learning Trip from a Qualitative Perspective Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://www.jee.org/29711
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