Transformative learning: Postgraduate students' refections on a community engagement program in South Africa

Serena Isaacs1, Jenny Rose1, Charl Davids1
1Department of Psychology, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Cite this article:  Isaacs, S., Rose, J., & Davids, C. (2016). Transformative learning: Postgraduate students' refections on a community engagement program in South Africa. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44(1), 103-116.

Volume 44 Issue 1 | e4912 | Published: February 2016 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.1.103

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We explored the promotion of active citizenship through reports of engagement in a rural community program in the Western Cape. Students enrolled in a community psychology postgraduate course participated in this project, during which they made use of reflective journaling to record their individual processes. We used thematic analysis to explore the themes within these journals. Through engagement with the community, students were able to acknowledge and reflect on significant differences between learning in the classroom and in the community. They were also able to identify the qualities needed to work effectively within communities, and began to consider the ideas of active citizenship and community involvement. Eleven students were able to unite on this project, developing both as individuals and psychology students, through their shared experiences. Common themes of questioning existing structures and resource availability are discussed.

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