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Service-learning as a responsive and engaging curriculum: A higher education institution’s response to natural disaster

Billy O’Steen, Dr Lane Perry

What happens if the local context where a higher education curriculum is being delivered shifts in a dramatic and undeniable way? Would or could the curriculum and pedagogy be adapted to address that shift? If so, how and for what purpose? These questions are addressed through a brief review of relevant literature on responsive curriculum and a case study of a service-learning that was developed at the University of Canterbury (UC) in response to the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand. Through research conducted on this course, it has become apparent that there are discernible learning outcomes for students that can be attributed to the implementation of a responsive curriculum.

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