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Abstract

This study suggests that community service learning experiences facilitate the reconstruction of civil engineering student beliefs about both the type of work performed by civil engineers and the broad impact of civil engineering knowledge. Further, the service learning experiences highlight for students 1) the importance of relationships between people, 2) the value of variations in perspective, and 3) the responsibilities of civil engineers in society as holders of expert knowledge. Meta-cognitive and self-regulated learning activities may be the mechanisms by which student beliefs evolve during service learning. Therefore, the quality of community service learning experiences may be enhanced by increasing the opportunities for students to articulate and organize their knowledge, critique their perspectives, compare and contrast their understanding with the understanding of others, and engaged in activities requiring knowledge integration.

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