Food for Thought

Service-Learning Research in Asia

Edited by:
Robert D. Shumer, Metropolitan State University
Carol Ma Hok Ka, Singapore University of Social Sciences
Constance Chan Wing Yee, National Cheng Kung University

Published 2021

Service-learning research has been growing and expanding around the world. While much of the early work was carried out in the US and Europe, such efforts have been developing in Asia for the past few decades. The use of the term, ‘service-learning’ was not popular, while use of community engagement, volunteerism, social services are more common among community practitioners and academics, with the rapid development of service-learning, both research and community-based programs have been growing throughout Asia over the last decade.

One of the major movements in that part of the world has been the Service-Learning Asia Network (started in 2005), where more than 11 countries have unified to share their efforts collectively through conferences and journals. In this new book we have examples from five (5) different places: China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and India. These models follow a recent publication of Asian research found in the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, published in Summer 2019 after the 7th Asia Pacific Regional Service-Learning conference in Singapore.

The chapters represent some of the exciting work that is developing in Asia, highlighting the rich and powerful connections between universities and communities throughout the region. Excellent examples of various kinds of study, from case studies, to qualitative research, to mixed method designs are included. In addition, the focus of the studies, from student learning, community change, innovative practice, and institutional development and change are provided to illustrate the rich diversity of work occurring throughout Asia.

Praise for Food for Thought:

"The adoption of a community engagement strategy to teaching and learning is found promising by a growing number of mentors. In Asia, colleges and universities have disseminated their own unique experiences in various fora, conferences, workshops and training programs. For one, this book offers a variety of information and rich insights as to the evolution, application, development, and outcomes of service-learning approaches in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, India, and Indonesia. The book demonstrates that learning encounters from the ground/community provide a foundation for a critical interpretation of the theories and principles expounded in books and lectures.

My university, Silliman University, in the Philippines, is committed to “total human development for the wellbeing of the society and the environment.” For us, this book promises to be a valuable reference for educators in search of teaching that integrates social action and community research. The book illustrates how some research outcomes make a case for institutions to strongly support service-learning efforts in all their curricular programs."

Betty Cernol-McCann, Ph.D.
President, Silliman University

"I have been fortunate to have engaged with many Asian service-learning programs and practitioners for two decades – from the field’s earliest days to its robust present. With publication of this research collection from leading Asian scholars and practitioners Shumer, Ma, and Chan illustrate how deeply embedded service-learning has become within Asian education, and how the emergence of evidence-based scholarship reveals both its complexity and maturity. Similar to how service-learning research evolved in the US, most of the included Asian studies examine outcomes of the practice for education institutions and communities. Others delve into curriculum design and implementation, program planning and development, and affective aspects of students’ experience. Taken together the collected studies illuminate how service learning has evolved as an Asian phenomenon with its uniquely important and very interesting characteristics."
Timothy K. Stanton, PhD
Senior Engaged Scholar
Ravensong Associates
Director Emeritus
Bing Overseas Studies Program, Cape Town, Stanford University

Endorsements. Introduction, Robert Shumer and Carol Ma Hok Ka. The Implications of Confucianism for Service-Learning, Carol Ma Hok Ka. Sharing and Realization of the Vision and Practice of Art Facilitation Through Service-Learning, Sophia S. M. Law. Developing Institutional Capacity for Service-Learning: A Singaporean Case Study, Clarence Ti, Joyce Tang, and Robert G. Bringle. A Caste Study in China: Teaching “Children’s Rights and Protections” Through Service-Learning, He Ling, Zhu Xiaoyu, and Gu Tian’an. Evoking Eco Consciousness Through Service Learning, Justin R. Nayagam, Thara K. Simon, and Malini R. A Service-Learning Case Study: Livestock Disease Management Through Government and Community Partnerships in Aililo, Rote Ndao, Christian Nindyaputra Octarino and Elizabeth Novita Wijayanti. Exploration of History and Community Through Service-Learning, SIU Yan-ho. Analysis: The Effect of Course Design of Service Learning Applied in Social Work Teaching, Zuo Tao. Service-Learning Curriculum as an Exploration for Reform in College Liberal Education: Taking the Experiment of Shantou University as an Example, Yinghui Cai and Xiangling Liu. Aspiration and Hope in Service-Learning, Rob Shumer, Carol Ma Hok Ka, and Constance Chan Wing Yee. Biographies.