Transforming professional education: The lost art of service and global citizenship
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Traditionally the university sector was charged with the public duty of educating professionals to serve the very community investing in them. University service played a vital role in community development throughout the 19th and 20th centuries; however the 21st century higher education sector is a different beast. This paper identifies the current challenges presented to university service by globalisation and rationalism that sees a shift towards a student as customer focus in education and demise in university community engagement. The authors propose service is a vital component of education, and indeed research and leadership, in preparing graduates for global citizenship and reconnecting universities with communities. The Curtin University China Occupational Therapy abroad program is restructuring curriculum around a service learning model to prepare for graduates of 2015. This paper identifies how the program meets evolving global demands and addresses Morin's complex lessons for education. Global citizenship is critiqued within Bell's model of reflective practice, with the Oxfam global citizenship ladder and the internationalised curricula and service learning literature demonstrating the outcomes service learning can deliver. Rejuvenation of the service function should form an integral component of curricula, enhancing the political and social awareness of students to graduate more informed and competent global citizens. Engagement with international issues such as human rights through the United Nations Global Compact enables students to develop into future community leaders. This paper presents the descriptive theoretical background to further research identifying the capacity of international service learning to enhance graduate global citizenry.
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