Call for Papers: Student Learning for Social Change: Interdisciplinary Community-Based Research

Posted by on November 24, 2008

Call for Papers

Student Learning for Social Change: Interdisciplinary Community-Based Research

How can higher education most effectively prepare future citizens for the enterprising work necessary for social sustainability and advancement? In this book, we advance interdisciplinary public or community-based research as a transformative higher education strategy to answer this call. Partnerships that involve citizens and public leaders, diverse faculty and students in collaborative community-based inquiry and action hold promise for a unique combination of pedagogical, scholarly, and public outcomes necessary for facing 21st century challenges.

Increasingly, community-based research (CBR) projects are growing beyond disciplinary boundaries, responding to the reality that the real issues being addressed in the community necessitate multiple perspectives, knowledge bases, and even methodologies. Disciplinary diversity can include multiple academic disciplines, and can also include different community sectors. Such public interdisciplinary projects raise new practical and pedagogical challenges. But the growing experience base suggests that they hold potential for creating path-breaking approaches to multifaceted societal issues while at the same time educating future leaders.

This book will explore and offer models and practical strategies for interdisciplinary CBR projects as undergraduate pedagogy. The ways in which interdisciplinary CBR projects can contribute at once to student learning, community, and scholarly outcomes will be discussed. Special attention will be given to innovative strategies for students’ learning in this unique public and interdisciplinary context – including learning contexts (e.g., learning communities, community-campus collaborative networks, novel learning structures, communities as learning contexts), student preparation strategies (e.g., course sequences, orientation approaches, gateway experiences), mentoring approaches to prompt deepening civic development, and techniques for advancing interdisciplinary deliberation and innovation. Illustrative case studies, including an array of academic disciplines, community sectors, and pressing issues will provide readers with diverse examples of the transformative potential of interdisciplinary CBR projects. Student learning outcomes assessment, as well as assessments of community impacts and social change outcomes will be included and reflected upon to inform best practice development. Strategies for planning and implementing interdisciplinary CBR projects will be provided, including perspectives from the different partners in such ventures.

Invitation for Proposals
Proposals (1000 – 1500 words in length) are invited that detail contribution(s) to advancing understanding of interdisciplinary CBR as undergraduate pedagogy and as a social change agent. Invitees are encouraged to share this call for proposals with community partners; collaborative proposals are encouraged.

Development of this book project will be an interactive and collaborative process. Initial proposals will be reviewed by the editors and will result in invitations to a working conference on interdisciplinary community-based research. The working conference will facilitate exchange and collaboration among participants and will result in plans for book chapters. This book project is an initiative of the National Community-Based Research Networking Initiative, supported by a three-year grant from the National Corporation for National Service Learn and Serve America Program.

December 15, 2008  Proposals for working conference due.

January 15, 2009  Proposal review completed and invitations issued to working conference.

April 18-20, 2009  Working conference on interdisciplinary community-based research, culminating in chapter plan.

September 1, 2009  Chapter draft due.

October 15, 2009  Feedback on chapter drafts to authors.

December 15, 2009  Final chapter manuscripts due.

Please submit proposals electronically to Beth Paul ( and Trisha Thorme ( We look forward to working with you on this important project.

Beth Paul, Vice Provost, The College of New Jersey
Trisha Thorme, Assistant Director, Community-Based Learning Initiative, Princeton University

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