Our space at the heart of the smallpox vaccine expedition
A service-learning project for social studies and citizenship education in Galicia (Spain)
Keywords:citizenship education, service-learning, social studies, smallpox expedition, A Coruña
- The study reports on, analyses and gives voice to the participants of a service-learning project involving students of education in a real educational context.
- The project was based on a historical event whose proximity to the students’ local environment helped them to realise its relevance to their own lives.
- The interdisciplinary nature of the project approaches citizenship education from the perspective of historical issues and events.
- The preparation and delivery of teacher training activities in a real educational context proved a positive, effective and enriching experience for all of the agents involved.
- The Smallpox Vaccine Expedition offers a more historiographically inclusive approach to school history and is directly relatable to current social issues.
Purpose: The article reports on and analyses the creation, development and implementation of a service-learning project involving primary and secondary school pupils and students of education (bachelor’s and master’s level), carried out in a real educational setting over the course of two academic years.
Approach: The project was conducted within a social science didactics framework of issues-centred teaching for the study of socially acute questions and global citizenship.
Findings: The research yielded very positive results. The task for student teachers of contextualising their social studies learning in a real educational setting was found to be a motivating factor and provided useful lessons in relation to practical teacher training experiences of this kind.
Implications: Greater emphasis should be placed on teacher training projects that include direct experience in real educational settings, particularly in relation to service-learning methodologies involving community service.
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