Expectation, Reality, and Rectification: The Merits of Failed Service Learning

Suzanne Kesler Rumsey, Tanja Nihiser


Prompted by Cushman and Grabill’s call to “ask and answer the difficult questions” about service learning (Reflections 2009), this article addresses the difficult question of “what happens when service learning goes wrong.”  Authors engaged in family history writing and service learning with a local historical group.  When the project was unable to be sustained, authors theorized a three-part methodological continuum of expectation, reality, and rectification to articulate the merits of failed attempts at service learning.

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