SERVICE-LEARNING IN THE UNIVERSITY: AN EXPERIENCE WITH INTERDISCIPLINARY GROUPS
Our education system, embedded in the information and knowledge society, requires new forms of teaching which respond to the demands of the current social situation. As the Delors Report (1996) points out, learning to know is not enough, and must be complemented with learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be. Within this context, European universities are about to complete the design of the new undergraduate and master’s degrees, for which a new model conceptualised as Competence-Based Learning has been applied. The new programs must also incorporate key educational elements that promote the education of all people for global citizenship, rather than proposals focused on a specialised educational field (e.g. postgraduate courses, congresses, singular actions) or aimed at a specific group of professionals.
In this vein, Service-Learning (SL) is conceived as a proposal for working which opens up the education system to the community and which combines curriculum-based learning and voluntary service for the community. This methodology allows the education system to be open to its social environment, and enables students to discover the reality beyond the daily activity of their classrooms.
The aim of this paper is to present a joint project carried out within the framework of several subject courses on the Teacher Training, Psychopedagogy and Audiovisual Communication degrees taught at the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló (Spain). SL was used as the methodological learning approach. By reporting the experience of an interdisciplinary group of students, we aim to disseminate a successful practice which develops various basic competencies and coordinates different areas of knowledge towards a common goal: to built a critical and committed citizenship.