Service-Learning to Influence Social Change in Criminal Justice

Proceedings of The 6th International Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education

Year: 2023



Service-Learning to Influence Social Change in Criminal Justice

Caron Jacobson



Service learning is under-utilized in criminal justice higher education and provides a unique opportunity for criminal justice undergraduate students to interact with justice-involved people face-to-face. This pedagogical approach is an effective way to challenge dualistic thinking and build students’ capacity for empathy. After participating in service-learning projects, students express their desire to support community engagement and get involved in social justice issues pertaining to the field. This interest in community engagement represents their newfound understanding that the experiences and perspectives of others are valid and worth recognizing. Prof. Jacobson hopes to build a more compassionate generation of criminal justice professionals and spearhead social change with this practice.

keywords: service-learning, empathy, criminal justice, dualistic thinking, social change