Care Ethics, Service Learning, and Social Change
Feminist skeptics have criticized both service-learning and care ethics as socially conservative. Yet feminist advocates of service-learning find overlap between the goals of Women's Studies classes and service-learning courses, both of which emphasize the relationship between theory and practice. Care ethicists argue that institutionalizing an ethic of care would promote feminist aims. Our experience teaching "Feminism and Families," a course integrating service-learning and care ethics, demonstrates that neither care ethics nor service-learning are inherently socially conservative; both can be used in Women's Studies classrooms to promote such key feminist pedagogical aims as connecting theory and practice, addressing privilege, and helping students understand political change needed to create a society that genuinely cares for all its members.
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Keller, Jean, Sheila Nelson, and Rachel Wick, 2003. “Care Ethics, Service-Learning, and Social Change.” Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 10(1): 39–50.