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Beyond service : looking at power in community service-learning relationships Humphries, Charlotte 2010

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Beyond service: Looking at power in community service-learning relationships   by   Charlotte Humphries  B.A.,  The University of British Columbia, 2005    A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF    MASTER OF ARTS IN PLANNING    in    The Faculty of Graduate Studies    THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)    April 2010    © Charlotte Humphries, 2010        ii Abstract  The research presented here is an analysis of power in the context of a community service-learning relationship. The theoretical community service-learning literature cautions that relationships in this context risk reproducing and reinforcing power inequities between community and the university.  An analysis of this literature reveals that central narratives about power and relationships may not entirely reflect the reality of practice.  The analysis of the literature also points to the unfulfilled need to more carefully consider the community within academic discourse and studies of community service-learning.  Using a case study of the YWCA Vancouver and the UBC Learning Exchange relationship, this research explores the following questions:  1. How does power operate in the context of the YWCA-Learning Exchange community service-learning relationship? 2. How are power relations conceptualized by participants in this community service-learning relationship? 3. How do the results from this inquiry align with popular theoretical perspectives on community service-learning?  The analysis of 13 in-depth interviews conducted with YWCA staff, UBC Learning Exchange staff, and students engaged in community service-learning activities with these two organizations reveals that actors in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship are aware of traditional power inequities between universities and communities.  These actors actively reject traditional power relations and react negatively when they perceive a reproduction of these relations in the context of community service-learning.  Results from the analysis of this unique case contribute to the community service-learning literature by adding new voices and complexity to the discourse.  In contrast to the essentialist view of power that is proposed in the literature, power in this case is understood to operate along multiple dimensions.  YWCA staff do not attribute different value to the types of service which the literature differentiates as charity or social justice. Finally, community staff do not identify as powerless in the relationship, and instead view themselves as integral to the operation and the success of community service- learning.  Results point to a need for further research into the experiences of all actors in community service-learning with the aim of contributing to the discourses of power and relationships in this context.  iii Table of contents  Abstract ..........................................................................................................................ii Table of contents ..........................................................................................................iii Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................ iv Preface ........................................................................................................................... v 1 Introduction.............................................................................................................. 1 2 An introduction to community service-learning ....................................................... 6 3 Literature review .................................................................................................... 19 4 Methodology ........................................................................................................... 36 5 The case.................................................................................................................. 49 6 Results .................................................................................................................... 59 7 Conclusions and recommendations........................................................................ 80 Appendices ................................................................................................................... 91  iv Acknowledgements  Thank you Margo for being inspiring, strong, and supportive throughout.  Thank you Maged for your thoughtful and constructive feedback.  Thank you to my family for encouragements and to Christine for the edits.  And thank you Jeremiah for telling me I was “almost there” from the beginning.  v Preface  I was first introduced to community service-learning through a graduate course called Plan 548D: Social Learning Studio.  I had browsed through the syllabus and thought; I like service… and the community… and learning.  This sounds great.  Why not?  I’m in!  On the first day of class, my professor, Margo, spoke warmly about community service- learning and about how we were going to carry out community service-learning over the next few months.  She spoke of this thing.  Oh, I thought to myself, this community service-learning is a thing.  The course provided me with an opportunity to lead the planning and implementation of a community service-learning project at the YWCA Rooftop Garden with a group of nine undergraduate students.  No other course during my graduate studies challenged me and taught me so much about managing a project, facilitating a group of eager students, and remaining humble and honest in the face of a challenge.  The experience made me realize that I get excited when I step outside my comfort zone and that I enjoy doing work that is grounded in the interactions of people.  I had come into it by intuition and community service-learning proved to resonate with me. The following year, I acted as a project leader for another project, and that spring, I carried out an internship with the YWCA.  Then, two years after first hearing the term ‘community service-learning,’ I now find myself writing it over and over again in this thesis.  Today I am part-student, part-employee in a medium-sized non-profit organization in Vancouver BC.  Every day people walk through our organization’s doors, say hello, present concerns and share ideas.  Every day, I put the lessons learned from community service-learning into practice as I learn how to collaborate with my co-workers, how to find consensus amongst community members even when no resolution seems possible, how to act quickly when necessary, and think deeply when the time is magically made available.  I have experienced the power of both academia and the community.  This research was carried out in the hopes that community service-learning will continue to be a force that brings this power together.     1 1 Introduction  1.1 A community service-learning story In the Spring of 2007, nine undergraduate students studying Food, Nutrition and Health at the University of British Columbia (UBC), took part in a community service-learning project as part of a third year undergraduate course in community nutrition.  During the first two days of the project, the students met with women who regularly attended the YWCA Crabtree Corner community kitchen to discuss preferences for fruits and vegetables in their diets.  On the third and final project day, the students created a planting guide for the YWCA Rooftop Garden, an urban garden which supplies fresh produce to the YWCA Crabtree Corner kitchen.  In the end, the students were proud of the planting guide because it was informed by both the discussions with Crabtree clients and their own knowledge in nutrition.  The YWCA expressed gratitude for this document, saying that it would help them cultivate produce that better suited the needs of their clients.  This community service-learning project was made possible in part by the UBC Learning Exchange, a community engagement initiative that was created in 1999 as part of the commitments to community engagement expressed by UBC in its Trek 2000 strategic plan (UBC 1998).  Every year, through the Learning Exchange’s Trek Program and the UBC-Community Learning Initiative, students are placed in inner city schools or non- profits where they carry out community service-learning.  The YWCA Vancouver, a non- profit that provides an array of integrated services throughout the Lower Mainland, also  2 played a significant role as co-creator and co-manager of this community service-learning project.  In fact, this project represents just one of the many collaborations since 1999 between the YWCA and the UBC Learning Exchange.  This thesis tells part of the story of the relationship between the YWCA Vancouver and the UBC Learning Exchange.  1.2 Promising practice The research presented here is an analysis of power in community service-learning relationships.  Community service-learning is a pedagogy that is rapidly gaining popularity in colleges and universities in Canada and internationally.  In community service-learning, students carry out service in the community, be it in a school or a non- profit organization.  Service can take many forms, but it is generally assumed that it responds to some community defined need or interest.  Through reflection, students are encouraged to make connections between their service experiences and academic course content.  In the process of carrying out service and reflecting on it, it is believed students have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of complex social, environmental and/or political issues than academic study alone can provide.  In addition, community service-learning is believed to enable students to feel more connected to, and responsible for, their communities and work with communities to address complex social issues, such that the process is transformative not only for students, but for the community as well.   3 The story of community service-learning as it is told in the academic literature often follows one of two narratives.  A ‘traditional’ narrative, explains community service- learning through the lens of experiential education, specifically, the idea that people learn from doing.  Associated with this narrative is the notion that community service-learning is a strategy for developing more civically engaged citizens.  An alternate narrative, which is today more popular in the theoretical literature, views community service- learning through the lenses of critical pedagogy and social justice theories.   These narratives each direct attention to particular aspects of the practice and advocate different goals and approaches for community service-learning.  These approaches are informed by different theoretical perspectives which arise from significantly different conceptions of power and power relations.  One of the central messages expressed through the critical or social justice narratives cautions against celebrating the possible values of community service-learning without first examining the ways in which power operates in a community service-learning context, specifically in the context of relationships.  The research presented in this thesis begins here, with the question of power in community service-learning narratives and in community service-learning relationships. This thesis presents the findings from a case study of the relationship between the YWCA Vancouver and the UBC Learning Exchange, as explored by a variety of actors who have taken part in community service-learning activities co-created and co-managed by the YWCA Vancouver and the UBC Learning Exchange since 1999.  Background information on community service-learning is provided in Chapter 2 and a review of community service-learning theories and empirical studies in the academic literature are  4 presented in Chapter 3.  The theoretical and methodological foundations of this research are discussed in Chapter 4.  In Chapter 5, the case study is described.  The results from the analysis of 13 interviews with individuals who took part in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship are given in Chapter 6.  Finally, the conclusions and recommendations for further work in, and reflections on, the field of community service- learning are presented in Chapter 7.  1.3 A note on some terms In the literature on community service-learning, the terms ‘collaboration’ and ‘partnership’ are often used to describe the interactions between community and university which make community service-learning programs possible.  In this research, I use the term ‘relationship’ to describe the multitude of relations between people, groups of people and institutions in the context of community service-learning.   Relationships are examined either at the level of the individual (e.g., where a YWCA client interacts with a UBC student during a nutrition workshop), or at the level of the institution (e.g., where a YWCA administrator interacts with UBC administrators to discuss strategic directions for community service-learning), or as symbolic concepts (e.g., where people call on their perceptions of ‘academia’ or ‘the community’).  1.4 A planner’s look into community service-learning This research was conducted as part of my graduate studies at the School of Community and Regional Planning, at the University of British Columbia.  Throughout my studies in Planning my focus has been, more than any other realm of this vast field, social planning.  5 To me, social planning is the area of work and study that allows us to ask the tough ‘how did we get here’ and ‘how will we get there’ questions that enable us to examine the social processes through which decisions are made and the fabric of our communities is changed.  Social planning is about asking questions to which there is often not a straightforward answer, or at least not one unequivocal answer.  Working through these questions requires making connections between issues, people and politics, whilst continuously looking from theory to practice and back, to (hopefully) learn from our experience.  This research study represents a planning student’s look into community service-learning, a process which has the potential to change our communities.   6 2 An introduction to community service-learning  2.1 ‘Troubled times’ in education In 1999 and 2000, the “American Behavioral Scientist” devoted two entire issues to the “troubled times” in which universities and colleges found themselves (Marullo and Edwards 2000, p. 746).  Evidence for the ‘trouble’ reported in these issues is found in the widespread critiques of higher education which take issue with the lack of confidence in the education system expressed by the general public, the apparent disconnect between university scholarship and societal realities, and the quality of education being provided (Marullo and Edwards 2000; see also Checkoway 2001; Ostrander 2004; Harkavy 2006). According to the contributors to these issues, the causes of these troubles can be attributed to changing economic, political, and social forces to which, it would appear, higher education has not adapted (Marullo and Edwards 2000).  Summarizing these factors, Marullo and Edwards (2000) argue that the economy is exerting pressure on universities to provide students with “symbol-manipulating skills,” such as “critical thinking, complex reading and writing skills, interpersonal interaction skills, and problem-solving and conflict resolution abilities,” and has forced colleges and universities to reconsider standard pedagogies (Marullo and Edwards 2000, p. 747).  In addition, universities have had to become more competitive in the market and have therefore begun “treating education more like a commodity to be bought and sold in a competitive market-place,” an idea that has drawn criticism from both inside and outside academia (Marullo and Edwards 2000, p. 747).  At the local level, due to political and  7 economic changes, many wealthy universities are now situated in communities that are economically and politically disempowered, a dynamic that has prompted these institutions to search for ways to contribute to the success of their surrounding areas (Marullo and Edwards 2000).  The modern day university has also been criticized for its narrow conception of knowledge production.  In the second half of the 20th Century, the university became increasingly separated from its surrounding communities. American universities, in particular, were critiqued for becoming insular “self-sufficient ‘cities’” during this time period (Bruning et al. 2006, p. 126).  Within this new practice, the university carried out its mission independently and research was based solely on academics’ interests (Thompson et al. 2003).  In the positivist tradition, the university embraced scientific research where the academic was the ‘expert’.  This type of research tends to approach the community as a ‘laboratory,’ and a space in which to find research subjects whose perspectives will not impact the design of the research (Ishisaka et al. 2004, p. 334).  This convention in academic research has led to a questioning of the university’s value as a social public institution.  Canadian perspectives on this topic confirm many of these concerns, particularly around the quality of education.  In a critique of the education system in Canada, Osborne (2000) argues that while the role of the Canadian education system used to be to shape young people into engaged citizens, Canadian policy-makers in the mid 1980s began turning  8 schools into “training grounds for the new global economy,” valuing economic and vocational priorities over service and citizenship (p. 10).  Given the criticisms described above, it has been widely argued that the university needs to transform itself in order to reaffirm its role in, and its value for, society (Marullo and Edwards 2000).  It has been suggested that the solution may be found in a broadening of the modern notion of scholarship so that it includes the goals and values of the scholarship of engagement.  2.2 The scholarship of engagement In his seminal essay entitled “The Scholarship of Engagement” Ernest L. Boyer (1996) proposes that, given pressing social and economic problems, the notion of scholarship must be reevaluated for the education system to better serve society.  Boyer (1996) makes the case that, in the past, the missions and practices of colleges and universities were inextricably linked with “the larger purposes of American society” (Boyer 1996, p. 143). “To what extent,” Boyer (1996) asks, “has higher learning in the nation continued this collaboration, this commitment to the common good?” (p. 144).  Boyer (1996) notes the common tenure and promotion practices of universities and colleges whereby academics are rewarded for advances in teaching and research, while frequently penalized for a prioritization of service.  He argues that while teaching and research have continued to be valued and developed in the education system, a commitment to scholarship that engages with communities has, in fact, declined.  Boyer  9 (1996) prescribes large scale changes to higher education which would allow colleges and universities to once again connect with the larger purposes of society and pursue scholarship that is “directed toward larger, more human ends” (p. 47).  Today, any review of the changes taking place in higher education provides evidence that Boyer’s (1996) messages resonated across academia as large-scale institutional and pedagogical reforms are underway throughout the North American higher education system (Ostrander 2004).  A growing number of colleges and universities are explicitly pursuing engaged forms of scholarship.  In fact, it is taking place at such a swift rate that it has been described as a “movement” by some in the field (Maurasse 2001, p. 1, in Ostrander 2004, p.75).  At the institutional scale, colleges and universities are increasingly collaborating with their surrounding communities (Marullo and Edwards 2000, p. 746).  Concurrently, and partly as a result of this commitment to collaboration with the community, community service-learning1 has emerged as an immensely popular pedagogical strategy of engaged scholarship (Marullo and Edwards 2000; Ostrander 2004; for a Canadian example see Savan 2004).  2.3 Community service-learning definitions Though there are countless definitions of community service-learning, Barbara Jacoby’s (1996) definition from her book Service-Learning in Higher Education, is commonly used.  Jacoby (1996) defines community service-learning as:  1 In this research I use the term ‘community service-learning’ as opposed to ‘service-learning,’ a term commonly used in the United States.  The Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning (CACSL) made the decision to make its commitment to community explicit by putting the term ‘community’ in the name of this practice.  When citing documents, I will use the term used in the original text.  10  A form of experiential education in which students engage with activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development.  Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning.  p. 5  In community service-learning both the service and the academic learning are important: “the hyphen in service-learning is critical in that it symbolizes the symbiotic relationship between service and learning (S. Migliore, personal communication, April 1995)” (Jacoby 1996, p. 5).  The hyphen in ‘service-learning’ has also been likened to the act of reflection, as this practice is thought to enable the learning from experience (Eyler and Giles 1999).  Community service-learning is sometimes implemented as a co-curricular activity, meaning that service is conducted outside of an academic course.  Alternately, community service-learning can be curricular, that is, it can be integrated into an academic course.  Whether it is structured in the context of an academic course or not, community service-learning is practiced in several different ways.  To help illustrate the different possible approaches, Sigmon (1996) developed a typology using a graphic representation of the two concepts  (Sigmon 1996 cited in Eyler and Giles 1999) .  In his typology, service-learning can be viewed as SERVICE-learning, SERVICE-LEARNING, service-LEARNING, or service learning, where the capitalized word signifies the relative emphasis between the two components, and the hyphen signifies the links between community service and academic learning (Eyler and Giles 1999).  Eyler and Giles  11 (1999), specialists in this field, advocate an approach that balances and emphasizes both the service and the learning (SERVICE-LEARNING).  Community service-learning programs have different goals and may develop a wide range of service opportunities (Jacoby 1996).  Community service carried out by students can take the form of direct services such as tutoring, working in a community garden, carrying out construction projects, or providing various services in a non-profit organization.  Some community service-learning programs emphasize advocacy and policy-level work, such as petitioning municipal governments.  In reality though, the number of experiences which can constitute community service-learning are almost infinite as long as core components of practical experience and reflection are present2.  As stated in Jacoby’s (1996) definition, reciprocity is a key concept of community service-learning.  The tenet of reciprocity implies that both the students and the communities in which community service-learning occurs should benefit from the experience.  It also implies that all components of community service-learning are shared between participants, including the teaching, the learning, and the acquiring of value from the experience.  According to Jacoby (1996), it is in this way that community service-learning is set apart from volunteerism, as it “stands in contrast to the traditional, paternalistic, one-way approach to service, where one person or group has resources that they share with a person or group that they assume lacks resources” (p. 8).   2 See section 2.4 for background on reflection  12 Community service-learning necessitates that a large number of actors works together to co-create and co-manage programs.  For this reason much of the literature on community service-learning focuses on creating and sustaining collaborative endeavours, most often termed ‘partnerships’, between communities, community groups, universities and colleges (see for example, Wiewel and Lieber 1998; Baum 2000; Bringle and Hatcher 2002; Savan 2004).  The relationships between the two groups are considered key to the success of the collaboration and thus to the success of community service-learning programs (Jacoby 2003).  Here again the literature emphasizes reciprocity and the necessity for parity and mutual benefit in the relationship between the community and colleges or universities (Jacoby 2003; Leiderman et al. 2003).  Ideally, the impacts of community service-learning are far-reaching and positive. Although it is empirically difficult to directly measure the learning outcomes and other impacts of community service-learning (Eyler & Giles 1999), this pedagogy has been found to enable students to develop a wide range of skills including, an enhanced ability to synthesize information, to perform creative problem-solving, to work constructively in a team, to communicate effectively, to make well-reasoned decisions, and to negotiate and compromise (Jacoby 1996).  Beyond substantive skills, community service-learning is considered to lead to an enhanced “sense of social responsibility” in students (Jacoby 1996, p. 21).  It has also been argued that within the university, faculty may gain new perspectives and research opportunities as the university builds rapport with the community (Himley 2004).  Community organizations may also benefit from the labour or research provided by students and, in the process, may gain the ability to address  13 issues affecting their community themselves (Himley 2004; Enos and Morton 2003). Finally, as a result of granting opportunities made available to these types of collaborations, both the community and the university may benefit financially (Baum 2000).  2.4 Experiential education and other theories The idea that people learn from experience, and particularly from deliberate reflection on this experience, is attributed to John Dewey and his theories of experiential learning (Jacoby 1996).  In the early 20th Century, John Dewey developed theories of knowledge and education that were very different from those popular in his day.  Whereas at the time most education was based on the idea that learning occurred when an expert dictated facts to students and the students then memorized these facts and applied them to their life in the future, Dewey argued that knowledge was created of, by, and for experience (Rocheleau 2004).  Dewey advocated experiential education and claimed that the act of solving real life problems resulted in knowledge and learning (Rocheleau 2004).  Dewey’s work was later complemented by Kolb’s concept of the experiential learning cycle, on which much of the current community service-learning discourse is based (Jacoby 1996).  According to Kolb’s model the learning experience is a continuously repeated four-step cycle: “concrete experience, reflection on the experience, synthesis and abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation – that is, testing the concepts in new situations” (Jacoby 1996, p. 9).   14 Though Deweyan theories of experiential learning are the basis for community service- learning pedagogy, many other theoretical perspectives have informed the practice of community service-learning.  Ideas about civic participation have been instrumental in the definition of many approaches to community service-learning  (Clark and Young 2005; Battistoni 1997).  Within this approach, value is placed on developing democratic communities and community service-learning programs are seen as an arena where students learn to participate in democracy.  This perspective has also been linked to a communitarian vision for North America on the premise that, in the face of waning democratic participation, students can develop a sense of social responsibility and develop community-focused values through community service-learning (Abowitz 1999).  Other approaches to community service-learning are informed by critical theory and pedagogy (e.g. Freire 1970; McLaren 2003 in Clark and Young 2005).  In these approaches the attention is particularly directed to the issue of power in community service-learning contexts.  In many respects, this perspective on power seeks to move community service-learning beyond the scope of the concept of charity, as the act of the privileged helping the ‘less fortunate’ (Clark and Young 2005).  Advocates of these approaches argue that if community service-learning is viewed merely through the lens of Deweyan experiential learning or civic participation, students may not see the ways in which their privilege plays into the dynamics of power (Clark and Young 2005).  Each of these different perspectives has implications for the goals, approaches, and measures of value or success of community service-learning.  This diversity is reflected  15 in the range of programming in practice, as well as in the debates within this field for the ‘best’ ways to pursue community service-learning3.  2.5 Context for the research The incorporation of Community service-learning into curricula in Canadian colleges and universities is relatively recent (CACSL 2009).  The history of community service- learning in Canada is closely tied to the funding strategies of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, a private Canadian funder.  The McConnell Foundation was established in 1937 and initially funded mostly capital campaigns in the Montreal area, and programs geared towards youth in organizations like the YMCA and the Boys’ and Girls’ Club (The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation 2009).  In the 1980s, the foundation decided to broaden its funding strategies and look at funding areas at the national scale (The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation 2009).  In the late 1990s, this Foundation set out to strategically fund initiatives that could transform academia (M. Fryer, personal communication 2009).  Following discussions with representatives from Canadian universities, community service-learning was selected as a promising avenue for achieving significant changes in both the community sector and academia.  Early on in this endeavour, the Foundation funded the creation of a community service- learning program at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia in 1998-1999 (CACSL 2009).  In 2001, St. Francis Xavier brought together representatives from a small number of Canadian post-secondary institutions with an interest in community service-learning.  3 See Chapter 3  16 In 2002, UBC and the University of Guelph developed the first Canadian Reading Week exchange and a small number of University of Guelph students traveled to UBC to carry out a community service-learning project.  In 2003, a group of university staff and faculty involved in community service-learning formed a national steering committee to stimulate the further growth of community service-learning in Canada.  In 2004, the McConnell Foundation created a funding program to support new or expanded community service-learning programs in universities across Canada (The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation 2009). Ten of the largest current community service- learning programs in Canada exist as a result of this funding.  Presently, 30 colleges and universities across Canada have community service-learning programs (CACSL 2009).  Community service-learning has a longer history in the United States, beginning with Dewey’s advocacy for experiential education.  Since that time, a number of political and social movements have solidified community service-learning’s institutionalization in the education system.  For example, volunteer organizations such as the National Student Volunteer Program, later becoming the National Center for Service Learning in 1979, paved the way for institutionalized service programs.  As early as the 1980s, organizations of community service-learning advocates and practitioners began to form (CACSL 2009).  One such organization, Campus Compact, established in 1985, is today a coalition of more than 1,000 academic institutions that have joined in a commitment to link their curricula to community needs (Savan 2004).  In April 2009, the institutionalization of community service-learning activities continued through the  17 signing into law of the Serve America Act, an Act which authorizes the expansion of a number of large national service programs (CACSL 2009).  It comes as no surprise to many that community service-learning is becoming widely popular in response to higher education being “called upon to renew its historic commitment to service” and after the value of the education being provided in post secondary education has been questioned (Jacoby 1996, p.3).  Eyler and Giles (1999) argue that, in fact, the popularity of community service-learning today is in large part attributable to the ways in which it responds to the criticisms of higher education and current views on how people learn best.  Today there is a distinct “buzz” surrounding community service-learning and a growing number of colleges and universities have updated their academic mission statements to include explicit strategies to engage community (Ostrander 2004).  2.6 Community service-learning at UBC The relationship between the UBC Learning Exchange and the YWCA exists within the context of these large-scale institutional reforms which are occurring in campuses across North America, as colleges and universities are increasingly embracing the principles of engaged scholarship.  Community service-learning programming at UBC developed, in large part, as a result of a 1998 visioning process initiated by then-president Martha Piper.  Dr. Piper believed that UBC’s new vision and strategic direction should orient the university to work more closely with its surrounding communities (M. Fryer, personal communication 2009).  The resulting Vision document, Trek 2000, published in 1998,  18 outlined UBC’s new strategic direction and made community engagement a priority (UBC 1998).  The UBC Learning Exchange, UBC’s community engagement initiative and coordinating body for community service-learning, was created shortly after the publication of the Trek 2000 Vision document.  An updated Vision document, Trek 2010, reaffirms UBC’s commitment to community engagement through strategies and actions which respond to community “needs and concerns through research, through educational outreach, and through partnerships that bring mutual benefit” (UBC 2005).  One of the strategies to achieve these goals outlines UBC’s intention to develop programs that will involve at least 10% of students in community service-learning activities.  19 3 Literature review  3.1 Grand narratives of community service-learning Reflecting on the newfound popularity of community service-learning, Butin (2005) acknowledges that, “service-learning seems ideally situated to make an impact in the classroom and in the world” (p. vii).  Butin (2005) defines the notion that community service-learning is poised to solve local and global problems as a grand narrative. Furthermore, he argues that this promising story is one of a few pervasive grand narratives in community service-learning and is particularly attractive because it “speaks to our sense of duty and fairness in the world: those who can supporting those who cannot, giving opportunities to those left behind” (p.vii).  Butin (2005) challenges his peers to question assumptions in community service-learning narratives, and to ask, “Who defines such narratives? In what terms? To what ends? For whose benefits? With what (unintended) consequences?”  (Butin 2005).  In this chapter, I review some of the key narratives in the field of community service-learning today.  3.2 Charity versus social justice In the community service-learning literature there is often a distinction made between charity and social justice approaches to community service-learning (Fryer and Newnham 2005).   Social justice (also termed social change or social advocacy) approaches to community service-learning are informed by critical theory and therefore focus on the questioning of power and privilege in the context of the service relationship.  20  According to a popular academic perspective, some early community service-learning theorists claimed that these approaches to community service-learning represent a continuum of service which ranges from charity (which some view as being of least value), to advocacy (of most value) (Fryer and Newnham 2005; Morton 1995).  The charity approach refers to service provided by an individual where there is little attempt made to “understand or effect the structural causes of the problem” (Morton 1995, p. 21). A social justice model, on the other hand, focuses on “root causes” and strives to empower “the systematically disenfranchised” (Morton 1995, p. 22-23).  According to the continuum model, as students progress through various community service-learning experiences and learn more about community issues and contexts, they move along the continuum from charity to social justice.  Morton (1995), however, challenges the assumption of a charity-social justice continuum and finds that “ideas of a continuum and progress from charity to advocacy do not square with how people do service or why they do it” (Morton 1995, p. 21).  Rather than a continuum, Morton (1995) argues that charity and social justice types of service represent paradigms, each of which encompasses a complex worldview and can be practiced with varying degrees of integrity and depth.  Although this particular charity-social justice debate took place more than a decade ago, today a similar conversation is at the forefront of the community service-learning agenda. The language has changed somewhat, but similar issues are present.  21  3.3 Critical community service-learning In a recent review of the literature on community service-learning, Mitchell (2008) observes an unspoken debate between advocates for two opposing models of service- learning.  She terms these approaches ‘traditional’ and ‘critical’.  Mitchell (2008) argues that “a traditional approach [to service-learning] … emphasizes service without attention to systems of inequality,” while a critical approach, “is unapologetic in its aim to dismantle structures of injustice” (p. 50).  Critical community service-learning calls on those in the service relationship to “[work] to redistribute power amongst all participants in the service-learning relationship, [develop] authentic relationships in the classroom and in the community, and [work] from a social change perspective” (p. 50).  Mitchell (2008) writes that critical community service-learning begins from the premise that the relationship between students and community members is, by its very nature, unequal4.  “Whether it be race, class, age, ability, or education level,” Mitchell (2008) explains, “students in some way (or in all of these ways) have more power than the constituents in the service agencies where they work.” (p. 56).  Traditional service- learning is criticized for its tendency to reproduce relationships of unequal power, by “[involving] students in the community in a way that perpetuates inequality and reinforces an ‘us-them’ dichotomy” (Mitchell 2008, p. 51).  In order to minimize this tendency, critical service-learning advocates argue that there should be an analysis of power and efforts to reconfigure traditional power relations at all points in the service-  4 According to Marullo and Edwards (2000), “social justice … refers to the state of institutional or structural arrangements in which there are no inequalities that are unjustifiable in terms of the greater social good or that are imposed unfairly” (p. 899).  22 learning planning and implementation process.  Finally, critical community service- learning “draws attention to root causes of social problems” and strives to disrupt the status quo (Mitchell 2008, p. 51).  3.4 The dialectic of service Underlying the critical community service-learning approach is a criticism of the dialectic of service in community service-learning. Rosenberger (2000), an advocate of social justice approaches to community service-learning which are informed by critical theory and social justice theories, analyses the dialectic of community service-learning by drawing on key concepts from Paulo Freire’s The Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970). She argues that the discourse of service in community service-learning implies those who are strong are helping those in need.  In its potential to replicate or intensify such dynamics, Rosenberger (2000) suggests that community service-learning is potentially an oppressive act.  Drawing on Freire’s theoretical foundations, she explains, “precisely because of the connotations that ‘service’ and service learning hold, teachers and students in higher education must think carefully about the dialectic of domination and liberation as they engage with communities” (Rosenberger 2000, p. 30).  3.5 Power explored As indicated by the focus of social justice, or critical approaches to community service- learning, much of the literature in this field raises concerns over the ways in which power operates within the context of community service-learning relationships.  Himley’s  23 (2004) work on the ‘stranger’ in community service-learning explores these dynamics of power.  Himley (2004) describes her experience teaching a college course in Community Literacy and Learning which was structured around community service-learning.  Her hope in teaching this course was that students would ask questions about social justice and engage in activities which would make possible the “redistribution of symbolic and material resources” (Himley 2004, p. 417).  Far from this outcome, Himley (2004) found that, “students got on their cell phones and went home, didn’t take the time to engage deeply or reflexively with their sites or roles, found all their beliefs about the poor confirmed” (p. 417).  Himley’s (2004) disappointment in these outcomes prompted her to examine the relations of power in community service-learning by drawing on feminist ethnography and post- colonial theory.  In this work, Himley (2004) uses the figure of the ‘stranger’ as a tool to analyse encounters and relationships in community service-learning.  Her analysis reveals that many of the discourses of volunteerism, civic participation or experiential education in community service-learning hide “power asymmetries, social antagonisms, and historical determinants” (Himley 2004, p. 417).   As in the case of traditional volunteerism, her research shows that community service-learning students have the ability to “move close to these strangers in order to re-script their lives within dominant discourses and values” and then are free to leave (Himley 2004, p. 420).  Meanwhile, the ‘strangers’ in the encounter are left where they started.  24  Himley (2004) also questions who needs whom more in this context and suggests that the students may need the community service participants and site (for credits, for stories) more than the community organization needs them, despite what some discourses might imply.  Like Himley (2004), Abowitz (1999) examines the discourses of community service- learning.  Abowitz (1999) argues that the practice of community service-learning is embedded in two principal mythologies.  The first is defined by a communitarian vision for the nation (in this case, the United States) and the second by critical pedagogy and theory discourses.  Abowitz (1999) writes that a communitarian mythology is made up of “a legend of democratic progress, active citizenry, noble pursuits, linkages of theory and practice, and liberal individual initiative combined with collaborative, social processes of inquiry, action, and reflection” (Abowitz 1999 p. 64).  In contrast, the field of critical pedagogy recalls a different history and theorizes about the state of the world differently.  “Instead of the service-learning’s holy trinity of progressivism, ‘citizenry, participation, democracy,’ critical pedagogues,” explains Abowitz (1999), “evoke a holy trinity more resembling ‘oppression, struggle, justice,’” (p. 64).  Abowitz (1999) argues that each conceptualization can be limiting; progressivism prevents educators and students “from engaging the world in more critical and political  25 ways” (p. 65).  Alternately, critical pedagogy may limit educators from seeing the possibilities of their practice.  Abowitz (1999) suggests that these myths may benefit from more overlap for “mutually beneficial engagement” (p. 65).  Ultimately, Abowitz (1999) favours a critical mythology because the communitarian narratives implicitly favour “apolitical types of service” and therefore cannot lead educators and students to be critical of the world in which they live (p. 73).  The question of power in community service-learning relations is also raised by Osman and Attwood (2007) in their research into community service-learning.  In examining empirical studies on this topic, the researchers find that “while there is ample talk of components such as development, participation and caring for others in the discourse of service learning, there is little talk of the power relations implied when such components come together in a relationship or even about power embedded in the discourse as a whole” (Osman and Attwood 2007, p. 16).  Some studies and stories from practice have, however, explicitly examined relations of power in community service-learning.  3.6 Community service-learning in practice 3.6.1 Reciprocal arrangements The community service-learning practitioner, Pompa (2005), created the Inside-Out program, a highly celebrated community service-learning program run by Temple University in Pennsylvania.  In this program, 30-35 students, equally divided between university students and incarcerated men or women, take part in a one semester course on the grounds of a prison (Mitchell 2008).  The course addresses Pompa’s (2005) long-time  26 concern that her classroom may reproduce the hierarchical structures and patriarchal philosophies she perceives in society.  To her, this risk “revolves around the issue of power” (p. 176).  Pompa (2005) explains:  If I ‘do for’ you, ‘serve’ you, ‘give to’ you – that creates a connection in which I have the resources, the abilities, the power, and you are on the receiving end.  It can be – while benign in intent – ironically disempowering of the receiver, granting further power to the giver.  Without meaning to, this process replicates the ‘have-have not’ paradigm that underlies so many of our social problems.  p. 176  Inside-Out was developed with these concerns in mind and Pompa (2005) attributes the success of the program to the deliberate creation of a “reciprocal arrangement,” where, “everyone serves, everyone is served” (p. 178).  She explains that in her program, “one group is not ‘teaching’ the other; rather, we are all learning together” (2005, p. 178). Pompa (2005) describes how these reciprocal arrangements are established through deliberate practices such as hosting the program on the prison grounds, ensuring equal numbers of participants from the university and the prison, and arranging chairs in a circle, rather than in line, facing the instructor.  3.6.2 Reflections on community service-learning In a short and reflective essay, Dacheux (2005) relates the story of her own personal transformation through a community service-learning experience.  Dacheux (2005) recalls creating two parallel identities “neither of which was complete or entirely true,” growing up in a working class family while also embracing an academic life at university (p. 68).  27  One day, while tutoring children in a working class neighourhood as part of a community service-learning placement, Dacheux (2005) realized that “somewhere along the way [she] had bought into the notion that these kids (poor, brown, and/or urban youths) were somehow “wrong” and needed [her] as the now educated college student to raise them up” (p. 69).  To her dismay, she now admits that for years her own parallel identities had been based on a set of binaries which situated the educated self as superior to the working class self.  3.6.3 Looking to moments of resistance In a community service-learning program run by Jones, Gilbride-Brown and Gasiorski (2005), student journals are reviewed to analyze students’ resistance to community service-learning.  In their analysis of the journals, they use the theoretical lenses of self- authorship – which allows them to focus on the development of the student and the creation of their identity – and critical whiteness – through which they focus on issues of power and privilege – as tools to analyze student resistance to community service- learning.  Jones, Gilbride-Brown, and Gasiorski (2005) find that resistance emerges primarily in white students when something challenges their preconceived notions of race, privilege and power.  Understandably, then, community service-learning experiences provide fertile grounds for this resistance, as here, “undergraduate students are confronted with their own privileges and positions of power, often for the first time” (Jones, Gilbride-  28 Brown, and Gasiorski 2005, p. 4-5).  They identify three generalized types of resistant students, each characterized by varying degrees and expressions of resistance.  There is ‘the good volunteer’, ‘the politely frustrated volunteer’, and ‘the active resister’.  For the authors, these different expressions of resistance are connected to the students’ relative readiness to “acknowledge and understand some of the consequences associated with power and privilege” (Jones, Gilbride-Brown, and Gasiorski 2005, p. 20).  The authors see a role for the educator to assess the readiness of their students for this “tough work” and view resistance as a learning opportunity (Jones, Gilbride-Brown, and Gasiorski 2005, p. 20).  3.6.4 Widening the frame Investigating the transformation that occurs during moments of tension in community service-learning experiences, Clark and Young (2005) draw on spatial theories to make the conceptual shift from “changing individuals, the individual transformation of students, to ‘changing places’” (p. 72).  Clark and Young (2005) describe the struggle between Seth, an undergraduate student, and the students he tutors, as they negotiate social and power relations at the tutoring site. In one scenario, the pupils, wanting to make noise and move around, express a different opinion of how tutoring is defined and, in doing so, exercise their power to change the tutoring space.  Clark and Young (2005) explain that as Seth makes allowances for alternate conceptions of what constitutes a tutoring space, he is not only transformed by the experience, but so also is the space, as there is a transformation in “the social  29 practices and objects of exchange in the space … in the ideologies that will hold sway in this space… and the lived experience of the space…” (p. 81).  3.7 Significance of stories from practice These stories from personal and professional experiences in community service-learning draw on a number of different theoretical perspectives to analyze and question community service-learning.  In many ways the messages of each story correspond better to the model proposed by critical community service-learning rather than so-called traditional approaches, particularly because of their explicit focus on power in the community service-learning relationship.  Pompa’s (2005) approach fits within the critical community service-learning rubric as she developed her community service- learning program based on an analysis of power and an assumption of unequal power dynamics which she mitigates through the intentional creation of reciprocal arrangements.  Dacheux (2005) argues that the binary that she embodied for most of her young adult life is often dangerously implicit in the community service-learning relationship.  However, she acknowledges that it was the community service-learning experience itself that enabled her to recognize this internalized binary.  Dacheux (2005) does not form an unequivocal conclusion about the power dynamics in community service-learning relationships because in the end, these power dynamics are for her both contradictory and personal.   30 In the Clark and Young (2005) and the Jones, Gilbride-Brown, and Gasiorski (2005) studies, the researchers also find that the tensions created as a result of negotiations of power (both internal and external) enable learning and transformation in community service-learning participants.  While power is a central point of analysis, these studies do not necessarily focus on ‘redistributing’ power.  Instead, the authors have investigated the complexity of power and its role as a transformative force in the community service-learning experience. In addition, there is no explicit mention of disrupting the ‘status quo’ and the impacts are described in terms of ‘learning’ and ‘transformation’.  The conclusions drawn from these studies suggest that the theoretical models of community service-learning found in the literature, and their associated assumptions, do not always reflect what happens in practice.   The ‘re-distribution’ of power – an active process – is not necessarily happening, though the implications of power – a reflexive process, often encouraged in academia – is thoroughly addressed.  These studies do not however, appear to be advocating a charity approach as they emphasize attention to power.  In contrast, Butin (2007) notes that in the theoretical community service-learning literature, it appears community service-learning theorists must either be “for” or “against” critical, or traditional community service-learning (Butin 2007, p. 177).  He suggests this  “polarization” of community service-learning is a result of both an increased interest in examining this practice through the lens of critical pedagogy and simultaneous rapid institutionalization of community service-learning in the education  31 system (Butin 2007, p. 177).  For Butin (2007), this rapid institutionalization is resulting in “dilution,” or, “a way to make initially difficult practices amenable to all with the consequence of undercutting and avoiding the very difficulty originally meant to be engaged” (p.178).  In earlier works, Butin (2005; 2003) also sought to examine and explicate the tensions he perceived in the field.  Butin (2003) suggests that the “thorny theoretical and pragmatic issues [that] have begun to be raised concerning the goals, means, and value-added dimensions of service-learning,” are the result of the opposition of different conceptualizations of community service-learning in the field (p. 1676).  Butin (2005) proposes a typology of four, sometimes overlapping, conceptualizations of community service-learning: technical, cultural, political and postmodern.  A technical conceptualization of community service-learning focuses on learning outcomes, thus supporting the idea that community service-learning makes students learn better and is a valuable tool for educators.  A cultural conceptualization supports the idea that community service-learning is a means to help students value, or understand, diversity and difference.  A political conceptualization of community service-learning is explicitly political and aims to right some of the wrongs in society, by working for the marginalized or disempowered. A postmodern conceptualization offers no best practice or truth, instead it, “creates, sustains, and/or disrupts the boundaries and norms by which we make sense of ourselves and the world”, and thus allows us to question presumptions about what is ‘normal’ or ‘commonsensical’ (Butin 2005b, p. 91).  Butin’s typology provides a starting point for thinking beyond community service-learning models or approaches, in  32 order to question the “assumptions of and implications for” community service-learning when they are conceptualized in different ways (Butin 2003, p. 1674).  3.8 Community- university collaboration A component of the literature in community service-learning focuses on the institutional relationships, or partnerships, formed through community service-learning. In the context of community-university partnerships, the term ‘partnership’ encompasses a wide range of relationships and approaches to collaboration.  Broadly speaking, a community- university partnership is any explicit collaborative agreement between academic and community members or community organizations that is formed to conduct research and, or, action (Suarez-Balcazar, et al. 2005). There is much consensus in the literature that describes promising models or best practices in community-university partnership- building.  Though it rarely explicitly addresses the dynamics of power, this literature emphasizes the importance of parity, or equality, in these relationships as well as the assurance of shared benefits (Schramm 2007; Leiderman et al. 2003; Bringle and Hatcher 2002).  3.9 Community perspectives Although it is a clear partner in community service-learning, the community itself is often left out of the academic literature.   Indeed, few studies have looked at the impacts of community service-learning on the community (Butin 2003).  Some suggest that this dearth of research is due to the “theoretical, methodological, and pragmatic difficulties of rigorously defining and analyzing such constructs as ‘community’ and ‘community  33 impact’” (Cruz and Giles 2000, in Butin 2003, p. 1684).  Studies that have sought to identify community impacts have focused on “community satisfaction,” in other words, satisfaction with student participation, with the relationship with the university body, or with the outcomes of the service (Butin 2003, p. 1685).  Clark and Young (2005) suggest that community perspectives and impacts may have been ignored in part because theoretical perspectives in community service-learning direct attention to the students’ experiences only.  The community’s perspective on the community-university relationships has not yet been examined in depth in the academic literature (Mitchell and Humphries 2007).  The Community-Campus- Partnership for Health (CCPH), a large American organization which advocates for community-university partnership-building, emphasizes this point in the introduction to its report on a recent conference, the Community Partners Speak Out!: “while academic partners have extensively documented their experiences and lessons learned, the voices of community partners are largely missing” (Achieving the Promise of Authentic Community-Higher Education Partnerships: Community Partners Speak Out! 2007, p. 2).  The literature that does describe the community perspectives comes primarily in the form of summary documents from conferences and is usually limited to relating the community’s concerns with control over resources within community-university collaborations and the costs of community service-learning (both monetary and opportunity) to the community organizations (see for example, Achieving the Promise of  34 Authentic Community-Higher Education Partnerships: Community Partners Speak Out! 2007; “Community Partners” 2007; Schraam 2007; Leiderman et al. 2003; “Building Effective Partnerships” 2002).  One notable exception coming from a Canadian context is a recent study into the impacts of student involvement on the capacity of community-based organizations (MacDonald 2009).  MacDonald (2009) conducted interviews with managers from non-profits in the Edmonton region and found that due to lack of staffing capacity and resources, community-based organizations can become overwhelmed by the number of requests for community service-learning collaborations.  Her research also revealed that these organizations value long term collaborations with students over short term projects and that there is a need for organizations to orient themselves strategically around the opportunities community service-learning can bring (MacDonald (2009).  MacDonald (2009) recommends that community-based organizations invest in staffing to coordinate community service-learning and work towards becoming co-educators of this pedagogy.  3.10 Research opportunity Community service-learning finds itself in a landscape of both growth and tensions. While on the ground, the practice is increasingly popular, within the academic literature, apparent tensions exist between advocacy for different visions of the practice, in particular that between traditional and critical approaches.   Concurrently, tensions exist around the issue and examination of power relations in the context of community service- learning relationships.  A popular narrative in the theoretical literature, points to the risks  35 of an inherent imbalance in power between the server and the served, or the university and the community.  Stories from practice outline wider-ranging conclusions and reflections on power relations in the context of community service-learning.  Finally, while being expounded as a key player in community service-learning, the community’s perspective is largely neglected in the academic literature.  Many academics are excited about the potential of community service-learning; it can transform the nature of education, enable linkages between higher education and communities and contribute to capacity-building in communities.  However, there is a clear need to further investigate the issue of power in community service-learning relationships and to consider the perspectives of the community in the process.   36 4 Methodology  4.1 Research questions and objectives Popular academic perspectives on community service-learning caution that community service-learning relationships risk reproducing and reinforcing power inequities between community and the university.  An analysis of the academic literature revealed that narratives about power and relationships in community service-learning may not accurately reflect the reality of community service-learning.  The analysis of the literature also pointed to the unfulfilled need to more carefully consider the community within academic discourse and studies of community service-learning.  In order to investigate this research gap, I developed three related research questions:  1. How does power operate in the practice of a community service-learning relationship? 2. How are power relations conceptualized by participants in community service- learning relationships? 3. How do the results from this inquiry align with the popular theoretical perspectives on community service-learning that are found in the academic community service-learning literature?  For the purposes of this research, I developed the following objectives:   37 • Develop an understanding of the operation and conceptualization(s) of power a community service-learning relationship. • Draw from the analysis of this case, insights that are relevant to community service-learning relationships on a broader level. • Make recommendations for the development of successful community service- learning relationships. • Elicit community perspectives and include these in the community service- learning discourse. • Contribute to the field of community service-learning by intentionally seeking to align theory and practice.  I investigated my research questions through a case study of the relationship between the YWCA of Vancouver and the UBC Learning Exchange and its sister unit, the UBC- Community Learning Initiative (UBC-CLI), whose ongoing collaboration is centered on the co-creation and co-management of community service-learning projects and placements.  4.2 Methodology 4.2.1 Theory  “Humans generally are curious,” writes Stake (1995), “and researchers have a special compulsion to inquire” (p. 46).   At the beginning of the research process, I certainly was curious, but I needed to seek out guidance on how to inquire.   I found theoretical and methodological guidance in Flyvbjerg’s (2001) interpretation of the concept of phronesis.  38  In Making Social Science Matter, Flyvbjerg (2001) argues that the contemporary field of social science has been weakened by following a rational model of science typified by the pursuit of universals and laws.  Flyvbjerg (2001) proposes that the way forward for social science is found in the intellectual virtue, phronesis, or practical ethics, a concept developed by Aristotle.  Phronesis entails the pursuit of wisdom and learning, as opposed to universal truths (Flyvbjerg 2001).  The value of phronesis in the field of social science is that it provides a way of learning about both particulars and systems, and thus opens up the possibility of thinking about how these might each be changed (Flyvbjerg 2001).  Flyvbjerg (2001) explains that a phronetic approach to social science guides us to ask ‘how’ rather than ‘why’ questions.  He advocates for the use of case studies in pursuing these ‘how’ questions, arguing that real human learning comes from detailed case experience.  It is precisely this “context-dependent knowledge,” writes Flyvbjerg (2001), “which makes it possible to move from the lower to the higher levels in the learning process” (p. 60).   Looking at a case allows the research to explore the “little questions,” whilst continuously linking the micro to the macro and the practice to the theory, thus developing an understanding that is “at the same time as detailed and as general as possible” (Flyvbjerg 2001, p. 134).  Flyvbjerg (2001) integrates into the Aristotelian concept of phronesis the idea that because power relations are inherent to any context, they must be analysed in phronetic research.  Power can be investigated by asking such questions as: who gains and who  39 loses; by which mechanisms of power?  Flyvbjerg (2001) writes that the strength of phronetic research is in providing “concrete examples, detailed narratives of how power works with what consequences, and to suggest how power might be changed and work with other consequences” (Flyvbjerg 2001, p. 140).  It is this link between case study, the analysis of power, and reflexivity between theory and practice that both resonates with, and provides a theoretical and methodological foundation for this research.  4.3 Case study Early during the research process I turned to Stake (1995), an advocate and practitioner of case study research, for practical guidance in structuring a case study.  Like Flyvbjerg (2001), Stake (1995) values case study methodology because it enables deep understanding of both the complexity and the particularity of human experiences.  To design a focused case study, Stake (1995) recommends developing a conceptual structure around issues that will focus attention to “perplexities” or “concerns” in the case (p. 28). Organizing a study around issues is useful, Stake (1995) explains, because such issues are not “simple and clean, but intricately wired to political, social, historical, and especially personal contexts” (p. 17).  Thus, by structuring my research around the issue of power in a specific community service-learning relationship, my aim was to learn about power (the issue of concern) and also develop a rich understanding of the case itself and its political, social, historical, personal contexts (Stake 1995).   40 My first step in studying the case was to familiarize myself with both organizations. Drawing on various YWCA and Learning Exchange publications, I researched the history, strategies, and administrative cultures and structures of these organizations.  I also reflected on my own connection with these organizations.  4.4 Interviews Stake (1995) writes that the aim of case study research is not necessarily to produce universal truths or unequivocal answers to research questions, but instead to identify and interpret the “multiple realities” (p. 12) and the many “coexisting happenings” in the case (Stake 1995, p. 39).   The second component of my case study thus involved exploring the ‘multiple realities’ of power dynamics in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship through in-depth interviews.  Under the guidance of Dr. Fryer, the Director of the Learning Exchange, I identified 17 potential study participants from three cohorts of people who play (or had previously played) a significant role in the collaborations between the YWCA and the Learning Exchange.  These cohorts are: YWCA staff, Learning Exchange staff, and UBC community service-learning students.  Potential participants were chosen purposively; they represent individuals whose experience and involvement as staff, or students in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship are (or were) such that they would be capable of speaking about a wide range of experiences from this context.  All potential participants were invited to take part in this study through a letter of invitation.   41 Between October 2008 and February 2009, I conducted 13 interviews.  Four interviews were conducted with YWCA staff, three with Learning Exchange staff, and six with UBC students who had carried out community service-learning at the YWCA.  Out of the six UBC students, three had acted as project leaders for UBC-CLI community service- learning projects as part of a graduate studies course, and three had carried out community service-learning through the Learning Exchange Trek Program.  The interviews were conducted in the participants’ places of work, in their homes, in public locations, such as a coffee shop and a library, and in two cases, over the phone.  All the interviews lasted between 45 and 60 minutes and were audio recorded with permission from the participants5.  Following the recommendation of Patton (1990), I developed an interview guide which contained questions designed to elicit a variety of responses, including memories, experiences, feelings, and opinions.  My intention was to come to an “an experiential understanding of the case,” therefore questions focused on “key episodes” in which participants might have experienced or perceived power dynamics within the context of the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship (Stake 1995, p. 40).  I also tried to focus on assets of the relationship by balancing questions which focused on the positives and those which sought out reflections on potentially negative experiences.  In order to achieve this focus, I ordered the interview questions such that participants were asked to reflect on positive experiences before being asked to remember those less positive.  Interviews were  5 Because 12 out of the 13 interview participants are female, I refer to all participants as ‘she’ in order to maintain the confidentiality of the male participant.  42 semi-structured.  Though most questions from the interview guide were asked in each interview, there was some variety in each interview’s focus6.  4.5 Analysis I carried out the analysis in two related ways.  First, I carried out an analysis of the theoretical literature on community service-learning, paying close attention to how discourses construct the concept of power in the community service-learning relationship. Next, I coded and analyzed the interview data, drawing on a similar framework to that used for the analysis of the literature so as to facilitate comparison between the analysis of theory and practice.  The conclusions from both analyses are presented together, in the following chapter.  4.5.1 Discourse and analysis In order to carry out an analysis of the theoretical community service-learning literature, I drew on a framework proposed by Gee (2005).  Gee (2005) describes the reflexive relationship between language and situation. He explains that we design our language to fit a situation, but at the same time, language creates a situation (Gee 2005).  This reflexive and performative quality of language is the basis of ‘discourse’.  Discourse refers to the ways in which language is used with other ‘stuff’ (such as metaphors, sign systems, non-verbal cues, texts, vernacular) to build socially recognizable identities, activities, or institutions (Gee 2005).   6 See Appendix A for a sample interview guide  43 To illustrate the notion of discourse, Gee (2005) provides the example of bird watchers. Bird watchers use specific language, refer to particular bird watching texts, and have a shared understanding of identities, activities and objects.  Together, these words, texts, tools and shared understanding form the institution of bird watching.  Discourse is the language ‘and other stuff’ that both creates, and is created by the institution of bird watching.  As a starting point to analyzing discourses (and by extension the institutions and perspectives that are implicated in and created by discourses), Gee (2005) proposes that language continuously builds seven areas of reality.  When questioning discourse, we should ask how this language constructs significance, activities, identities, relationships, politics (the distribution of social goods), connections, sign systems and knowledge (Gee 2005).  In addition to the ‘seven building tasks,’ Gee (2005) presents other tools of inquiry to guide a discourse analyst to look at social languages, discourses, intertextuality, conversations, situated meanings, and discourse models.  Following Gee’s (2005) framework, I drew on these tools or ‘thinking devices’ to structure the ways in which I both analyzed the literature on community service-learning and the interview data.  Specifically, I focused on exploring the construction of identities, activities, and the construction of the concept of power in community service-learning.  The analysis of the interviews involved an iterative process of coding interview transcriptions, reviewing interview notes, reflecting, identifying themes and updating  44 codes to reflect further interpretation of the data.  The coding was largely inductive – I wanted themes to emerge naturally from the data – however I chose some dominant themes that appeared to speak to the research questions more than others for further analysis.  Later, I grouped the results in such a way that I could compare and align the critical analysis of the literature and that of the interviews, by looking at the construction of identities, or roles, activities and power.  4.6 Ethics, limitations and scope Before conducting this research, I applied for and obtained Ethical Review approval from the Behavioural Research Ethics Board at UBC.  As such, all components of the research abide by the guidelines for privacy, confidentiality, inclusion, informed consent and other ethical considerations outlined in the Tri-Council Policy Statement regarding Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.  Throughout the interview process, I was always cognizant of the responsibility participants’ bestowed upon me to retell their stories in a caring and honest way, without betraying their trust.  In order to maintain the confidentiality of participants I have coded their names and withheld some details which may have revealed too much information about people and places referred to during the interviews.  Names of participants have been coded as follows:  • YWCA Staff: YWCA A, YWCA B, YWCA C, YWCA D • Learning Exchange Staff: LE A, LE B, LE C • Learning Exchange Trek Students: Trek A, Trek B, Trek C • UBC-CLI Project Leaders: CLI A, CLI B, CLI C  45  Codes, rather than names appear on the interview transcripts which Dr. Fryer has access to.  This measure was taken in recognition of Dr. Fryer’s leadership role at the Learning Exchange and involvement in the collaborations between the Learning Exchange and the YWCA, and with the intention of supporting participants to speak as openly as possible during the interviews.  Throughout the research process, I recognized that discussing power posed the risk of eliciting feelings or memories which could disturb interview participants.  I tried to mitigate this risk through my commitment to confidentiality, and by focusing on ‘the positives’ during interviews.  In two interviews, participants became visibly emotional as they recalled particular experiences.  In both cases, the moment passed quickly as the participants continued to talk about their feelings and reflected on the emotional power of the story they were telling.  My hope is that the interviews, as a form of reflection, may also have served as a means of fostering learning and understanding for the participants themselves.  In some cases, I believe this did occur, as certain participants commented on the value of reflecting on these topics.  In this research, I played a dual role; I was both a researcher and an insider of the YWCA and Learning Exchange relationship.  At the time of the research, my relationships with various persons from the YWCA and the Learning Exchange spanned two years and a variety of experiences.  In Spring 2007, I had acted as a project leader for a community service-learning project at the YWCA.  A year later, I carried out a three-month  46 internship at the YWCA, through which I conducted a short participatory planning process with 15 YWCA staff.  In the Spring of 2008, I acted as project leader a second time, this time working with a group of second year civil engineering students.  Finally, I was a member of the Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation Committee (PIECe) of the UBC-CLI, a committee composed of UBC staff and faculty, Learning Exchange staff, community partner staff and UBC students.  Not only were many of my current and past academic experiences couched within the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship, but three of the interviews for this research were conducted with classmates from my program at the School of Community and Regional Planning.  I believe my involvement in the context of this study provided both benefits and limitations to the research process and results.   Because I had already met all but three interview participants, a connection with the interview participants was in most cases made before the interview.  In a sense, the ice had been broken and this made for a very comfortable atmosphere for the interviews.  In addition, I believe that my experiences observing the wider context of the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship first-hand provided some valuable opportunities for insight.  For example, while faculty were not involved in the research study as participants, my experience on the PIECe Committee provided me with insight into their perspectives on community service-learning at UBC.  My insider status also presented limitations to the study.  Some participants may have had reservations about talking about professional situations to someone who had worked closely with them or someone who knew (almost) everyone else involved.  Cognizant of  47 this risk, I always emphasized the confidentiality I would adhere to.  There is also the risk that my own experiences in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship would influence the questions I asked, the data I considered significant, as well as the analysis. Ultimately, this type of research and analysis is interpretive and, as Flyvbjerg (2001) argues, though there is no way to make interpretation unequivocal, it can nevertheless be valid if carried out with rigor.  Gee (2005) concurs with Flyvbjerg (2001) and provides advice on increasing the validity of analysis, particularly in discourse analysis.  Gee (2005) encourages analysts to pay particular attention to convergences of interpretation in the data because they increase the likelihood of validity of the interpretation.  He also cautions analysts to recognize conflicting conclusions (Gee 2005).  I strove to follow this advice at all points in the research and analysis, as I tried to maximize the validity of my interpretations by looking for convergences and acknowledging contradicting conclusions.  I also sought to highlight the voices of others, through the use of vignettes from interviews, so that the readers may also develop their own interpretation.  There are other limitations to this study.  I chose to look at the experiences of YWCA staff, UBC staff, and UBC community service-learning students.  Obviously, other individuals and groups played a role in the collaborations between the YWCA and the Learning Exchange, perhaps most notably, YWCA clients and UBC faculty.  The omission of YWCA clients’ perspectives from this study does limit what can be labeled the ‘community perspective’, because in this research the ‘community perspective’ reflects only that of community organization staff.  It was unfortunately beyond the scope of a Master’s thesis to address the community members’ experiences.  However,  48 community organization staff are instrumental in a community service-learning relationship and therefore, I believe, a valid social network to study.  UBC faculty are a significant omission to this study.  Unfortunately, interviewing the faculty involved in this relationship would have been a limiting factor to this research, as the sample size would have been too small to allow for both confidentiality and the analysis of recurring themes amongst this cohort.  The exploration of community members’ and faculty’s experiences represents an exciting area for further study.  As I reflect on my role as the lead researcher in this project, I recognize that this has been a valuable learning process for me.  Of course, the sense of having learned something comes with the challenges I experienced on numerous occasions.  Indeed, throughout the research process there were uh oh! moments and ah ha! moments.  For example, when I listened to the audio recordings of the interviews, I found that there were questions that could have been phrased more clearly, and moments when I should have probed more, or less.  Patton (1990) writes that skill is important in interviewing, but so is a “genuine interest and caring about the perspectives of other people” (p. 279).  In the interviews and throughout the rest of the research process, I hope that I was able to develop some of these skills and create and maintain ‘genuine interest and care’.    49 5 The case  5.1 Introduction to the case In 2008, I carried out a three-month internship at the YWCA Vancouver, under the joint guidance of Dr. Fryer, Director of the Learning Exchange, and Lis Petersen, the YWCA Health + Fitness, and Youth Director, and champion of community service-learning within her organization.  The purpose of the internship was to further develop the relationship between the YWCA and the Learning Exchange by ‘spreading the word’ about community service-learning to staff who had not collaborated with the Learning Exchange, and meeting with those who had, to discuss ways in which planning, programming, and evaluation could be improved.  Through conversations with over 15 individuals I began to get a sense of the warm attachment and mutual respect between the staff of these two organizations.  I also gained an understanding of the depth and breadth of the history of the relationship between these two organizations.  When the time came to choose a ‘case’ to study for this research, the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship presented itself as an ideal candidate.  5.2 The YWCA Vancouver The YWCA Vancouver is a membership-based and volunteer-based non-profit which provides a range of services across Metro Vancouver (YWCA Board Manual)7.  YWCA Vancouver is part of a larger association of YWCAs, including YWCA Canada, and YWCA World, the largest recognized women’s organization worldwide.  The YWCA  7 See also YWCA Vancouver  50 organization had its start as a charity that emerged from women-led advocacy and service delivery grounded in Christian values.  In Vancouver, the YWCA first opened its doors in 1897 as a rooming house for women who came to the city to find employment (YWCA Board Manual).  Today, the YWCA Vancouver has relinquished its religious affiliation but has maintained a strong focus on advocacy and service delivery for women (YWCA Board Manual).  Today, the programs and core service areas of the YWCA Vancouver (hereafter ‘YWCA’) are guided by the organization’s overarching vision of ‘achieving women’s equality’. The YWCA’s mission is to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.  In addition, three broad strategy areas for the YWCA are the prevention of violence against women, the development of a national child care system and ongoing support for single mothers (YWCA Strategic Plan 2007/2008).  These strategies and the mission are enacted through the range of services and programming offered by the YWCA in Vancouver.  Core service areas include Health + Fitness, International Services, Mentorship, Single Mother’s Services, Youth, Finance, Funds Development, Human Resources, Marketing and Communications, and Volunteer Services (YWCA Strategic Plan 2007/2008).  Most administrative offices are located in the main Program Centre in Vancouver’s central business district.   51 Outside the program centre, many YWCA services are specifically geared toward the needs of women and, or, families in difficult circumstances.  For example, Crabtree Corner is a service centre geared towards low-income women with substance dependency issues and it is located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  Crabtree Corner delivers a range of integrated services, including emergency childcare, transition housing, a hot lunch program and community kitchen, and specialized support programs (YWCA Strategic Plan 2007/2008).  The YWCA Hotel, also located in Vancouver’s downtown core, provides market hotel rooms and subsidized long-term hotel space for women (YWCA Strategic Plan 2007/2008).  Munroe House is a second-stage transition house for women who have experienced spousal abuse.  The YWCA also runs numerous child care centres, including an innovative child care centre located on the grounds of Tupper Secondary School geared towards high school attending mothers.  Here, mothers are supported to ‘put the child first’, but also pursue their education through a specialized high school program (YWCA Strategic Plan 2007/2008).  The YWCA is committed to supporting its advocacy positions with well-founded research.  Its strategic plan outlines this commitment and underscores its belief that the strength of its advocacy positions is found in the fact that each is “grounded in [the YWCA’s] front-line service experience and informed by current research and evidence” (Strategic Plan 2007/2008).  This priority means that the YWCA is prepared to work with academia.  For example, the YWCA has partnered with the Human Early Learning  52 Partnership (HELP), a research consortium that includes six BC universities, including UBC.  The YWCA has used results from HELP research on child care policy to advocate for universal childcare.  This orientation towards academic partnering stood out to me during my time as an intern at the YWCA, as the staff I met with were invariably eager to engage with the UBC Learning Exchange and invite UBC students to participate in their programming.  The staff’s willingness to collaborate with students is also a reflection of the organization’s strategic plan, which outlines the YWCA’s commitment to engage volunteers and youth to participate in its organization on a variety of levels.  The YWCA aims “to develop meaningful volunteer opportunities that support our mission and programs and provide leadership and skill development opportunities for our volunteers” (Strategic Plan 2007/2008, p. 22).  As such, co-op students, practicum students, volunteers, interns, and community service-learning students are integrated into the development of most programming.  5.3 The UBC Learning Exchange Shortly after UBC published its Trek 2000 Vision in 1998, the university sought to put in place strategies to connect with the community, in particular, with the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.  The Downtown Eastside is a well-known inner city neighbourhood in Vancouver; it is both famous and infamous for its long and rich history, remarkable community pride and high concentration of residents with substance  53 abuse and mental health problems, unreliable housing and elevated levels of poverty, sex- trade workers, and high rates of HIV/AIDS (Fryer and Newnham 2005).  In the fall of 1998, UBC held a press conference to announce its intentions to establish a presence in this neighbourhood, but this announcement was met with opposition from the community because the community had not been consulted about the initiative (M. Fryer, personal communication 2009).  Realizing that an important step had been missed, the President’s Office hired two UBC students, Margo Fryer and Brian Lee, to carry out a consultation process in the Downtown Eastside with the goal of determining how UBC could best develop a positive presence in this neighbourhood (Fryer and Lee 1999).  Fryer and Lee carried out the consultation under the guidance of an advisory committee composed of representatives from four major organizations in the Downtown Eastside, including a representative from YWCA Crabtree Corner.  The resulting recommendations supported UBC’s efforts to develop a presence in the Downtown Eastside and underscored the necessity of working with members of this community on this ongoing process, moving slowly to allow for relationships of trust to develop between UBC and the community, and developing reciprocal arrangements whereby an exchange between the communities (e.g., Downtown Eastside community members expressed an interest in accessing the UBC Library services) would be enabled.   Following up on the recommendations arising from the consultation, a student volunteer program (The Trek Program) was initiated in October 1999, and the following year, a storefront was opened in the Downtown Eastside (The Learning Exchange).  Crabtree Corner was one of the  54 first organizations to host Trek student volunteers.  This started a tradition of collaboration between these two organizations which continues today.  Presently, The Learning Exchange operates a number of different programs all within the mandate of community engagement (UBC 2007)8.  Through the storefront in the Downtown Eastside, the Learning Exchange runs programs including an ESL conversation program and computer skills workshops.  In addition, the storefront provides resources to people who live and work in the neighbourhood, including access to the UBC Library and drop-in computer usage (UBC Learning Exchange 2009).  The Trek Program, UBC’s annual Reading Week Community Service Projects, and support for curricular Community Service Learning activities are the three primary community service-learning initiatives organized by the Learning Exchange.  During the 2008-2009 academic year, almost 700 UBC students participated in community service- learning activities outside of an academic course and over 1,000 participated in community service-learning as part of an academic course (Fryer 2009).  The Trek Program invites undergraduate and graduate students to “learn about real world issues through community service in inner city settings” (UBC Learning Exchange 2009). Students who join the Trek Program self-select to get involved in ongoing weekly placements in inner city schools or non-profits where they carry out community service- learning outside of a university course (co-curricular community service-learning).  Co-  8 Information related to Learning Exchange history obtained through personal communication with M. Fryer, 2009.  55 curricular community service-learning at UBC typically is structured either as ongoing placements during the school term(s) or as short-term immersion projects during the university’s reading week break in mid- February. Before beginning their community service-learning, Trek students attend an orientation which aims to prepare them for the community service-learning experience.  Here, the students are introduced to the concept of structured reflection and are made aware of the sensitivities required to work in the Downtown Eastside community.  Trek students are expected to volunteer their time for at least two hours per week, for four to six months, though the opportunity to continue on past this obligation is usually made available (Learning Exchange 2009).  The Trek Program also facilitates community service-learning activities in inner city schools for UBC Varsity Athletes, as well as for graduates and undergraduates in the Faculty of Sciences as part of the UBC Let’s Talk Science Partnership Program.   Trek students carrying out community service-learning with the YWCA have done so in a variety of programs and settings.  They have volunteered as facilitators for two youth programs run by the YWCA in grade seven classrooms in Vancouver public schools. Over the years, Trek students have continued to carry out community service-learning at the YWCA Crabtree Corner.  Here, Trek students have volunteered in the kitchen as cooking help and participated in both the planning and implementation of Crabtree Corner programs.  Through the Chapman Community Service Awards, students can propose a specific project in a school or not-for-profit organization and if chosen, be awarded funds to carry  56 out this project.  In 2006, two students jointly proposed, and were awarded the funding to carry out, a Community Kitchen Hampers program at the YWCA Crabtree Corner.  The program built on these students’ experiences with the clients at Crabtree through their past Trek Program placements.  The goal of the Community Kitchen Hamper program was to promote healthy eating habits.  During the summer, the two students hosted interactive nutrition workshops, and provided program participants with a hamper with the ingredients necessary to cook a large and nutritious meal (Learning Exchange 2009). In this way, Trek students have also been instrumental in creating new programs at Crabtree.  Community service-learning activities at UBC were expanded in 2006, when the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation granted UBC $1 million over five years to develop a new model of course-based or curricular community service-learning which would take place in non-profit organizations.  Positioned within the UBC Learning Exchange, the UBC- Community Learning Initiative (UBC-CLI) was created as a result of this funding (Learning Exchange 2009).  The UBC-CLI provides a number of supports to faculty who wish to integrate community service-learning into their course work.  In addition, since 2008-2009, the UBC-CLI has also provided support for community based research projects carried out as part of academic courses (Fryer 2009).  The structure of curricular community service-learning projects are diverse.  Often projects take place during reading week break in February, while other curricular community service-learning activities are structured as ongoing placements, or projects  57 that span a variety of time frames (UBC Learning Exchange 2009).   In 2008-2009, second-year core course in civil engineering facilitated the participation of almost 120 students in reading week community service-learning projects (Fryer 2009).  The same academic year saw almost 200 third-year students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems take part in community based research team projects, and 160 students take part in community service-learning projects (Fryer 2009).  In addition, curricular community service-learning was implemented in a number of courses in the Faculty of Arts (Fryer 2009).  Community service-learning projects were led by graduate students, including a group of graduate students from the School of Community and Regional Planning as part of a graduate course, by UBC staff members, and employees from a local business (Learning Exchange 2009).  UBC-CLI students carried out projects at the YWCA in February 2007, 2008, and 20099. Projects have taken on many different forms, from the facilitation of educational workshops to building shelving units, and have involved participation from students from a range of disciplines, including Engineering, Food and Nutrition, and Geography.  These projects have been carried out at the YWCA Munroe House, Rooftop Garden and Crabtree Corner.  Since the YWCA began welcoming Trek students in 1999, the number and scope of community service-learning placements and projects that have been co-created and co- managed by these two organizations have grown and diversified.  In the winter of 2007 and spring of 2008, approximately 50 UBC students facilitated through the UBC  9 Information on UBC-CLI projects collected as part of my internship with the YWCA in 2008  58 Learning Exchange and the UBC-CLI took part in community service-learning within YWCA programs10.     10 Information on UBC-CLI projects collected as part of my internship with the YWCA in 2008  59 6 Results  This chapter presents the results of an analysis of the 13 interviews conducted for this research study; four interviews were conducted with YWCA staff, three with Learning Exchange staff, three with UBC-CLI project leaders, and three with Trek program participants.  At the beginning of each interview I asked participants to situate themselves in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship; how had they first become involved in community service-learning?  In which community service-learning activities had they participated?  What role did they play in the YWCA-Learning Exchange community service-learning context?  Afterwards I asked participants to tell me about something (a moment, or maybe an achievement) related to their experiences with community service- learning on which they now looked back with pride.  My intention in asking this question was to set the tone of the interview by enabling participants to begin our discussion by revisiting a positive moment in community service-learning.  During the remainder of the interview I asked a series of questions about power.   These questions invited participants to recall moments when power dynamics (feeling powerful, feeling powerless, empowered, or disempowered) were either observed or experienced.  The analysis explores how those involved in community service-learning relationships perceive and make meaning from power dynamics within this context.  With the guidance of Cope (2005), I developed a coding structure to support the “data exploration, analysis, and theory-building” that follows (p. 223).  In my analysis process, I first defined a large number of descriptive and thematic codes.  Through an iterative process of coding and  60 reflection, I grouped my findings into the three themes explored below: power and roles, power and activities, power and discourse.  6.1 Power and roles Early on in the review of the interview data, it became apparent that the issue of power was top of mind for participants who had carried out community service-learning in contexts where there were obvious differences in socio-economic status between themselves and others involved.   These participants made references to the traditional power inequities between university and community and described the ways in which they observed these dynamics in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship.  Two main themes emerged, as participants described both their active rejection of traditional power dynamics, as well as the ways in which they reacted in moments when they perceived these traditional dynamics being reproduced by someone else.  One of the central assumptions of community service-learning is that student learning is enabled through interactions with people and places that are different from what is found in conventional educational contexts.  Typically, this means structuring community service-learning activities in inner city contexts, such as schools or community-based organizations.  The critical community service-learning perspective points out the risk that this encounter may suggest a privileged server helping a less privileged recipient of service.   61 The three Trek students interviewed for this study had been involved in a variety of community service-learning activities at Crabtree Corner, a YWCA program centre located in the Downtown Eastside that provides services for women with substance dependencies.  Trek students’ stories focused extensively on the relationships between themselves and Crabtree Corner clients.  Their stories highlight the fact that Trek students were aware of potential power inequities between themselves and the Crabtree Corner clients; they did not like feeling more privileged than the clients with whom they worked and they valued moments when they felt ‘the same as’ rather than ‘different from’ the clients.  One Trek student described her most positive memory of community service-learning, working alongside clients of Crabtree Corner in the community kitchen.  One of the things I loved best, and made a priority to do, was to cook with women.  Many of the women in this program would do workshops where they would come in mornings or evenings and childcare would be provided, and they would cook in kitchen, prepare meals with families. I found this to be most rewarding of all the things I did at the centre and it was because of the interactions I had with the women.  My feeling is that when you get a group of women in the kitchen, you’re all equal.  It was really amazing how some women with incredible cooking talents would come out of the woodwork and start to delegate.  I really learned a lot from women and was really quiet and tried to just take it in.  And the conversations you have while chopping mushrooms, you could never have them while sitting in a group with a number of women or even one on one if you didn’t know the women.  There was just a feeling of equality and openness, which I think is very hard to find beyond kitchens, with women…  I found that incredibly empowering. It was like a place of reference.  I felt we were all on the same playing field.  It was open.  It was fun.  I think that many of the women who might have felt disempowered because of their socio-economic status and the fact that they used the Crabtree services, but I felt that kind of dissolved when they stepped into the kitchen.  Trek A   62 Not only did this participant clearly value the feeling of equality in this setting, she emphasized that she herself was learning from the women at Crabtree Corner, rejecting the traditional role as academic-as-expert.  All three Trek students described feeling uncomfortable when positioned as a leader or educator in relation to the clients.  When asked to facilitate a workshop series, one student asked herself:  How am I at the front of the room when I feel like I know nothing?  I have nothing to offer these people.  I am the one who is supposed to be learning from them.  Trek C  Trek students’ stories reveal an almost acute awareness of power in the context of interaction and relationship-building with Crabtree Corner clients.  Their awareness is articulated as a sensitivity to the risk of perpetuating traditional, historical, or stereotypical dynamics between the university and community.  All three Trek students had taken part in the Trek Program orientation.  Here they may have been introduced to the concept of structured reflection as well as to the history of the Downtown Eastside community.  It is possible that this orientation contributed to the students’ ability to reflect deeply on the issue of power in the context of Crabtree Corner.   It was also apparent that these participants had self-selected themselves for experiences where their assumptions, values and sense of privilege could be questioned.  One Trek student, in a representative example, explained that though the experience at Crabtree had been difficult, she had pursued the experience intentionally, because she wanted to be challenged in a way school had not challenged her before (Trek A).   Finally, these Trek students had been purposefully chosen to participate in this study because of their extensive and intensive experiences with the case.  In the design of the research, this  63 selection was justified by the intention for participants to be capable of drawing from a number of experiences in answering the interview questions.  This selection, however, may have led to a bias for Trek students who were both sensitive to, and reflective on, power dynamics in community service-learning contexts.  Negative experiences related to power dynamics arose out of situations in which traditional power dynamics, typified by academia’s historical legacy of exerting power over the community, were reproduced.  Specifically, two YWCA staff and two Project Leaders noted negative experiences with UBC faculty members.  Their stories help elucidate moments of tension in YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship.  One YWCA staff spoke of her disappointment that the professor of the group of students from an applied discipline carrying out a reading week project at her site, did not come to visit the project.  For this staff, the professor’s discipline was significant:  That professor I never met, in fact I don’t think I could even tell you their name.  I thought it was interesting that it was the professor from that discipline who didn’t get involved.  And it was my perception - I thought that perhaps they thought this project wasn’t as important as the other professors thought it was.  I perceive that discipline to be much more male dominated - a segment of society that has more power, and a segment of academia that has more power.  That’s my own perceptions.  Their non- involvement – I felt like there wasn’t power sharing there because they didn’t get involved.  YWCA A   The professor’s absence is associated, in this reflection, to characteristics in academia, and in particular the professor’s discipline, which suggest power and privilege.  This association is significant to this YWCA staff because she works in a transitional housing  64 centre for women who have left physically abusive relationships; this space is women- centered and services a segment of society which is presumably less privileged than academics.  In reality, the professor is a woman, and though she had not visited this particular project site, she had visited many of her students’ project sites throughout the reading week.  Far from characterizing traditional academic scientific traditions, this professor has been a champion of community service-learning at UBC, playing a key role in integrating this pedagogy into the curriculum of her discipline.  In the absence of this knowledge and of a personal connection, the YWCA staff drew on her perceptions and stereotypes of academia to explain why the professor did not visit the site.  A Project Leader who had led a group of undergraduate students at Crabtree Corner also described a tense moment between herself and a faculty member.  The group of students had been asked to design and build a shelving unit to display brochures at the YWCA centre.  The construction phase of the project had taken longer than anticipated and on the third and last day of the project, it became clear that the structure would not be completed in time.  Here, the Project Leader described what happened when the faculty member visited the project site:   It was the last day of project, and we were realizing it wasn’t going to finish, so I was working with students to be ok with that.  At that moment, the professor came in with some people.  People from the university.  She came in and started - I guess she felt like she had to offer something and she felt that she had to be a bit didactic - I wanted to strangle her.  It was so frustrating.  She was going through things: have you done this with the students?  Have you done that? You should do this, that.  She just walked in off the street and started offering advice and I was absolutely stunned.  It was such the stereotype thing that you might expect someone to come into a community organization, not understanding the context or the history, not even asking, just offering advice.  So I  65 pretty much just walked away from her.  I was so irritated.  The moment was so bad. CLI C   As in the preceding example, it is this professor’s reproduction of traditional power dynamics between academia and community, which triggers what is clearly a powerful negative reaction in the Project Leader.  Once again the relative lack of privilege of the community context (Downtown Eastside) is significant for the Project Leader.  The tension that is created between the two actors also suggests that at the time of this encounter, the professor and the Project Leader felt a sense of responsibility towards different aspects of the community service-learning project. Working intensively in a community setting and aware of the dynamics of privilege and power that could play out between university and community actors in this type of setting, the Project Leader may have felt a sense of responsibility towards the community because these actors have historically been disempowered in this setting.  In addition, the Project Leader had been assisting the students to “be ok with” not completing the project, therefore placing importance on student satisfaction at the time11.  In comparison, the professor may have in this moment felt a greater sense of responsibility to complete the task that was promised, in an effort to sustain the relationship between the YWCA and the university. In this situation, what was perhaps the professor’s expression of a sense of responsibility - giving advice to the student, inquiring about the completion of the project - proved to be uncomfortable and potentially disempowering for the Project Leader.   11 The Project Leader later on did speak at length about her discomfort with not completing the project on time and explained that the delay had troubled her throughout the community service-learning experience.  66 The ways in which the sense of power and sense of responsibility interconnect for actors in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship came up in the reflections of a Learning Exchange staff speaking about her experiences growing the relationships between the Learning Exchange and community organizations.  When planning the projects and relationships, I was really totally in control.  When the project leaders would take over the projects, my role would then be to step back and support.  I would hear stories or have conversations about things that had gone really sideways and I would feel really devastated because I felt like I couldn’t do anything in the moment to help because it wasn’t my role.  Meanwhile I’d feel so sad that things had gone sideways for everybody involved because I wondered if that really needed to happen and if I could have done anything to prevent it, even though it wasn’t my role at that point.  Seeing things go down was hard for me.  Feeling hopeless and powerless to intervene, or take it back.  I remember then making the analogy to a child; I nurtured and nurtured it and then had to give it over to somebody.  At some point I would say, ‘I’m trusting you with this thing and please don’t screw it up’.  Because that would have a big impact…  I remember a project leader who was doing a project at Crabtree.  I was worried about his commitment and respect.  Worried that he could cause damage to the bigger relationship that we had. I don’t think it did because the staff at Crabtree is so great.  I didn’t resent it, but I thought: darn you, everything that I did, you undid it.  LE A   Expressing her sense of responsibility towards the development of strong, positive relationships between the Learning Exchange and community partners, this staff described feeling uneasy when projects went “sideways”.  She contrasted the feeling of being in control, with that of feeling powerless when unable to interfere with a project even when it did not evolve as she hoped.  For this staff, the process of choosing her role at different points in the project planning and implementation and her level of involvement is both reflective and emotional.   67 Though only an exercise in speculation, this exploration of the intentions of each actor in this relationship, reveals that in a community service-learning encounter, there exists an intersection of multiple relationships (e.g., The faculty and the Project Leader, the Project Leader and the students, the Learning Exchange and the YWCA), each with different histories and different priorities.  Where these intersect, there is the potential for tensions between the goals, intentions and interpretations of the actors involved.  Power dynamics are made more complex by all of these dimensions: the symbolic (historical legacies of academia and community relationships), temporal (the history of each relationship), and spatial (the intersection of networks of relationships).  6.2 Power and activities In each interview, I asked participants to describe what they thought were the positive outcomes of community service-learning.  Their answers revealed a wide range of conceptions of what community service-learning is and what it can do.  Their conceptions provide insight into the tensions in the theoretical literature around activities (or means), outcomes and value in community service-learning.  A common narrative in the theoretical literature focuses on the relative value of charity versus social justice approaches to community service-learning.  The central principle of critical community service-learning is that the context of service is an “imbalance of power in the service relationship” (Mitchell 2008, p. 50).   It follows, that in order not to reproduce these dynamics, community service-learning must be a means of both analyzing and redistributing power.  The discourse model that underlies this approach is  68 an analysis of privilege and oppression. According to the model, a person’s or institution’s unacknowledged privilege, effectively oppresses those without privilege (McIntosh 1988). Certain conditions, such as a poorly structured community service- learning program, may “systematically overempower certain groups,” in this case the students, whilst disempowering others (McIntosh 1988, n.p.).  Following the logic of this discourse model and the premise it proposes, it becomes clear that this community service-learning discourse constructs particular identities in the community service-learning context.  The ‘server’ is constructed as the privileged individual within this system of power, whereas the ‘served’ is constructed as the unprivileged individual within this same system.  The model also constructs particular preferred activities in community service-learning. Mitchell (2008) describes critical community service-learning as an active process in which those enacting service must “dismantle structures of injustice… redistribute power amongst all participants… [develop] authentic relationships” (p. 50 emphasis mine,). Critical service-learning advocates that students  become “agents of social change” who must act out the goals of critical community service-learning (Mitchell 2008, p. 51).  Another exploration of what social justice community service-learning might mean in practice is articulated by Rohina Wade, an American educator who at the time of writing, coordinated community service-learning programs.  In a reflective account of her last six years of practice, Wade (2000) writes:  69  What is ‘service’ anyway?  I often state in class that the best service-learning projects will alleviate suffering, but how many projects actually do that?  How many projects actually make a difference in others’ lives or in the society structures that lead to so much inequity in our country? Wade 2000, p. 97  Wade (2000) describes her dismay when receiving a proposal for a new community service-learning program which would see kindergartners frost graham crackers on a monthly basis and deliver these treats to students in the school during their birthday month.   Implicit in the discourse of social justice community service-learning, then, is the notion that doing something for, giving something to, or, working towards tangible outcomes equates charity and is, presumably, less likely to lead to social change.  Interview participants participated in, and contributed to, this conversation on the activities and outcomes of community service-learning.  While students tended to question the value of ‘doing something for’, or ‘giving something to’ the YWCA, the YWCA staff did not ascribe different values to the wide range of activities and outcomes they associated with the practice of community service-learning.  One YWCA staff spoke at length about what she felt was made possible through the practice of community service-learning:  There are different levels: the projects that the students do, they fill gaps here.  They do things that we either don’t have the money for, or don’t have the expertise, or don’t have the time for.  So they contribute and they build capacity within this organization… Even if it’s just sharing knowledge, there’s always something there that we can take away and build into our programming.  The other part is that it definitely builds a bridge between the academic world and the experiential world of learning.  And that’s for me a real passion of mine.  Some of my  70 own stuff gets in there!  I’ve had so many students here and I see how they bring kind of an energy to the environment, to the culture of this place that is really positive.  My hope is that when students come here, that it may challenge some of their stereotypes and may add to their self-reflection and cause them to look at that some of their own privilege – so it will shape them in some way.  Maybe they don’t even notice it, but down the road they’ll go ‘oh I remember’…  And the learning is very much hands on.  If you’re going to be let’s say a nutritionist and you come here and you do a workshop with moms around nutrition.  I just can’t see how that wouldn’t enhance your learning for when you go out and become a nutritionist…  It’s hopefully going to shape that lens that students are going to view the world through, that they’re going to do their work through.  It’s an experience that they’re going to bring to society when they get out there and become working people.  And then it’s fun.  It’s usually crazy.  Every year it gets a bit better.  I just stand back and watch the students and they’re with the staff and they’re with the moms… it’s just so good.  It’s fun and it’s lively and busy.  It seems enjoyable.   YWCA B.   The list of the positive outcomes she attributes to community service-learning is wide ranging, it includes, the filling of gaps in expertise and skills in the organization, enhanced programming, enhanced student learning, and the development of life skills and values for students.  When speaking on this topic, all four YWCA staff outlined a similarly lengthy and wide ranging list of outcomes of community service-learning, and consistently, the staff did not appear to value one type of activity, or one outcome, over another.  In comparison, when speaking about the activities and outcomes associated with community service-learning, two out of the three Trek students and two out of the three Project Leaders made distinctions between activities they considered to fall under the realm of charity compared to other more valuable types of community service-learning activities.  These students questioned the benefits of ‘doing something for’ the organization and consistently downplayed the value of the tangible outcomes of the  71 community service-learning experience.  In contrast, they placed high value on other dimensions of their community service-learning experiences, such as learning and community capacity-building.  One Project Leader described her feeling of accomplishment at the end of the project week:  Last day when we were doing our final reflection, I was so stoked.  I felt like the students finally got it.  We were talking about best and worst moments, linking the project to sustainability.  I thought this is awesome.  This is what the project was meant to be.  I don’t care if the structures were built.  CLI A   This Project Leader’s reflection reminded me of my first experience as a project leader for the YWCA Rooftop Garden project.  I had been so enthusiastic about the undergraduate students’ reflections on their experiences touring the Downtown Eastside and interacting with clients at Crabtree Corner, that I had, in comparison, paid little attention to the product we were to deliver to our community host.  In some way, the idea of ‘doing something for’ had become less important to me than the idea of facilitating a transformative experience for the students and in the process ‘changing the world’.  In my final project report, I emphasized the learning outcomes and emotional journeys of the students and downplayed the importance of the task we had been asked to complete, and in the process, perhaps did not fulfill the expectations of the YWCA.  For another Project Leader, the question of value and benefits in community service- learning is one that she has explored deeply for some time.  When I asked her what she felt were the positive outcomes of community service-learning, she explained that she immediately perceived the value this practice had for students, but had more difficulty  72 seeing how it positively impacted the community.  She took me through her evolving reflections on this topic:  Benefits? For Crabtree, I definitely had a lot more trouble seeing how it helped them. And I went through a process writing my final report where I had a bit of a block.  I think that my final report did end up sounding a bit negative.  But I did start to explore the question, though perhaps not to the degree I could have.  I started seeing that they [Crabtree community] were getting something out of this in the long term with the Learning Exchange, even if it didn’t seem like it out of this one little project, as far as the relationship building, networking power, or that ability to have allies across Vancouver. I can see it as being advantageous to them to start breaking down barriers within the broader community, even if you are doing this with just a few students at a time.  I think that extroverted approach, surely would affect them in the long run rather than being more insular.  I’m just not sure the community in general would get really far.  In a way it’s more of a benefit to the broader community than just a benefit to them.  But that’s what I started playing with….  I think it’s really good in theory, but hard to put into practice because of constraints. Three days, engineering students, so, a shelf.  But I don’t know what the YWCA’s broader strategic agenda is.  Does that really fit in? … I really doubt that the shelf was the most important thing the organization could have done that week.  I really doubt it was the best use of their time or the budget.  CLI C  While this Project Leader recognized the positive impacts for the community over the long term, she raised questions about the value of the act of service.  This Project Leader’s reflections on her experience and the difficult questions she raised provides insight into the ways in which the theoretical literature on community service-learning conceptualizes power and service.  6.3 Power and discourse Before exploring the question of service, it is useful to ask: what is power anyway? Power can be conceptualized in a number of different ways.  A conventional view of power is epitomized by the ‘rule of law’.  A law is enacted from some central body (the  73 government) and the public must obey it or be subject to consequences.  The conventional view of power is thus premised on the idea that power is an entity-like ‘thing’ that is exercised from a central point or “an apparatus of power” (Flyvbjerg 2001, p. 119).  Power conceptualized as such is often understood to be finite, leading to conclusions of ‘some have it’ and ‘some don’t’ (Osman and Attwood 2007).  In contrast to this view, is the Foucauldian conception of power which envisions it as innumerable “force relations” (Flyvbjerg 2001, p. 120).  Here, power is found in the processes through which we transform, support, or reverse these force relations (Flyvbjerg 2001).  Contrary to the notion of power as an entity, Foucault suggests that power, as force relations, is omnipresent and inscribed into everyday relations (Flyvbjerg 2001).  Power then, cannot be exercised from one authoritarian point, but instead is exercised from everywhere all at once; everyone is part of the power system (Flyvbjerg 2001).  Osman and Attwood (2007) have noted that community service-learning theory has a tendency to propose an essentialist conceptualization of power.   In fact, as seen above, within the critical community service-learning discourse, power is conceptualized as something that is being or should be (re)distributed.  The critical literature on community service-learning is also informed by a structuralist conception of power.  This conception posits that people’s power is mostly set by the societal structure in which they live.   74 Implicit in the literature is an assumption that students and university hold the power in the community service-learning relationship.  In this way, the discourse of ‘redistribution’ suggests that power is (re)distributed by the university (or the students) to the community.  Despite its intentions, the discourse of critical community service- learning itself risks constructing unequal relations of power by portraying the university as privileged and active, and the community as powerless and passive.  Contributing new voices to the community service-learning discourse, the YWCA staff rejected the notion that the community lacks power.  Stories and reflections of staff revealed that they wish to, and work actively to, contribute to the community service- learning experience and see themselves as integral to the very existence and success of this practice.  One YWCA staff explained:  I admire the students who are giving up their reading weeks to do these projects.  I’m very cognizant of that too, so that’s why I want to make it worth their while.  I remember going to university and reading week was great.  They’re giving up their time and I see it as, to support us, so I want to do what I can to reciprocate…  We believe in community service-learning.  We’re committed to it and we want to make it a success… And it is very successful.  I was there and I heard what the community had to say [when UBC originally came forward with the idea to work in, and with residents of, the Downtown Eastside] and they were not excited, to put it mildly.  They were not excited about UBC coming into the community.  It’s a hard community to get a foot into.  It’s not easy.  And in a lot of community members, it can bring up feelings of inadequacy or their lack of privilege or their lack of education or their fear of institutions.  There’s a lot of buttons that may have gotten pushed.  And it’s been very successful, so obviously this community has embraced it.  If you look at the number of volunteers and the schools and organizations involved. They’ve embraced it and seen the value in it and the ability to see the capacity building. YWCA B   75 Drawing on a Foucauldian conception of power, the act of embracing in this passage can be interpreted as a powerful act as it enables the community service-learning to take place in this community.  In fact, all four YWCA staff interviewed articulated an awareness of their organization’s integral and active role in community service-learning practice.  For two staff, this role was one of co-educator.  One staff described wanting to learn as much as possible about the students’ curricula before hosting a community service-learning project so as to cater the experience at her site to fit their learning objectives (YWCA A).  Whereas the discourse focuses on the activities carried out by the students in community service-learning, in describing their roles in the relationship, the YWCA staff put forward a range of activities which they themselves carried out in the practice of community service-learning. Primarily, the YWCA staff described how they strategically integrated community service-learning into their centre’s programming and operations.   One YWCA staff described her intentionality in pursuing a relationship with the Learning Exchange.  She explained:  The YWCA’s goals are to create systemic change that brings us to a greater level of equality between men and women etc. and levels the playing field for children, so the opportunity to engage young people in some of these issues, is very important.  It’s part of our long term strategy of where we want to go as part of our organization and where we think society will benefit from specific changes.  YWCA D   These results add complexity to the model that is put forth in the critical community service-learning discourse and point to the uniqueness of the YWCA-Learning Exchange case.  The YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship is unique; the YWCA is an unusual community-based organization and the YWCA-Learning Exchange an unusual  76 community service-learning relationship.  All four YWCA staff noted that the YWCA Vancouver is a large and diversified non-profit organization in Vancouver and for these reasons, potentially more resilient than many other non-profits in Vancouver.  When asked if the power dynamics in this relationship were typical of community-university relationships, all Learning Exchange staff and YWCA staff responded that to a certain extent, their experiences in this relationship were uncommon.  All Learning Exchange staff explained that the YWCA appeared to have more capacity than other organizations to carry out community service-learning. One Learning Exchange staff explained that she believed the premise of the Learning Exchange-YWCA relationship to be one of power equity:  The YWCA is a large institution.  It has a long history and an institutional culture about it.  When I look at the two entities coming together [The Learning Exchange and the YWCA], I would expect that they would be very successful because they are very similar, in my mind.  I’m sure they would say ‘no we’re quite different’ perhaps, but comparing with other organizations I have worked with, I would say yes.  The YWCA is fairly well resourced, fairly large… I’m expecting that they would have alignment, an understanding of similar protocols, similar ways of approaching work, and a high degree of professionalism. The other organizations I’ve worked for, and with, are to a much lesser degree organized than that.  So, from my point of view they are similar.  They’re not going to struggle too much.  And if they do, I’d be wondering why.  LE C  Another Learning Exchange staff described the YWCA and Learning Exchange as a good fit for co-creating and co-managing community service-learning because of the culture of the YWCA:  The YWCA must be a learning centered organization because they really seemed to know why this was an important experience for students.  They wanted it to be as fruitful as possible for the students.  And because I was working with those staff at the YWCA that had that kind of attitude and perspective, it was obviously very easy to connect with them and to get to know them and I always looked forward to working with them. LE A  77  Three YWCA staff attributed the success of the collaborations with the Learning Exchange to the concerted relationship-building efforts of its staff team, exemplified by sensitivity, follow-up and evaluation, and orientations for students.  Unsurprisingly, when asked to describe their role, all three Learning Exchange staff spoke of their deliberate efforts to build and sustain relationships.  One staff explained:  To me relationships are the fundamentally most important part of community service- learning and partnerships in general.  They required a lot of attention and care and thought and consideration.  It’s what the whole job was about, I thought.  And the more I invested in all those relationships, the greater and richer the experience was for everybody because there was just more understanding, willingness to work together through the new, the difficult and the challenging.  LE A   This analysis reveals the uniqueness of the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship and the ways in which the actors in this relationship conceptualize their own sense of power. Findings from this analysis add complexity to the critical community service-learning discourse and point to some of the potential limitations of a discourse which directs inquiry onto the act of service in community service-learning, more than any other aspect of the practice of community service-learning.  These findings suggest that if power dynamics are only explored in the moment of service, the service relationship becomes significant above all else.  This conceptualization of community service-learning may limit the ways in which power can be conceived to operate within this practice.  In addition, this focus may bias how different activities and outcomes in community service-learning are valued.  While ‘doing something for’ can reproduce unequal power dynamics, examining this act and not others may prevent actors from seeing how ‘doing  78 something for’ contributes to the community’s larger strategic goals or the bigger picture in community service-learning.  In this way, the focus on service in the discourse may lead actors and researchers in the field of community service-learning to overlook what is relevant to communities, and in the process, potentially inadvertently undermine the intentions and the power of the community.  In contrast to the emphasis on service in the literature, the Learning Exchange uses a language that emphasizes “first-hand understanding”, “contribution”, “sharing,” and “applying expertise and resources” (Learning Exchange 2009).  This discourse provides some indications as to how community service-learning can be conceptualized when looking beyond the act of service.  In the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship, power dynamics are perceived, experienced and reflected on by all actors interviewed.  In this relationship, power operates through tight webs of relations, exists in the context of the historical relations between the community and the university as well as the histories of each particular context, and is articulated through a range of activities, experiences, and intentions of all actors in this relationship.  Looking beyond the act of service provides the opportunity for an analysis of power in this case that reveals nuances and complexities which contribute to the discourses of community service-learning.  Power is significant in community service-learning; how we talk about it and how we think about it, impacts actors’ experiences in this context.  The analysis of the uniqueness of the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship contributes to the field of community service-learning by  79 providing new perspectives on power in community service-learning relationships and by providing direction for the ways in which we can continue to explore and investigate power in this context.  80 7 Conclusions and recommendations  7.1 Conclusions The aim of phronetic research is to gain wisdom and learning from both the particulars of daily practices and the system in which these take place.  Flyvbjerg (2001) places the question of power at the centre of phronetic inquiry and encourages researchers to ask who gains, who loses, and by which mechanisms of power?  Here, I have presented the results of my research which analyzes power in a community service-learning relationship.  In the field of community service-learning, power is an issue that is at the forefront of many theoretical discussions.  Unanswered questions raised in the examination of this theory provided the grounds for this research into power in the context of a particular case: the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship.  Actors in this relationship shared the story of the YWCA and the Learning Exchange, two organizations with a long history of collaboration.  Neither organization represents the prototypical ‘community’ or ‘university’ as depicted in the literature.  The YWCA is a large and diversified non-profit organization while the Learning Exchange operates both within and outside the university, with offices both on campus and in the Downtown Eastside, and with its staff team positioned in between these entities as relationship-builders.  The analysis of this case revealed findings about power and roles, activities, and the discourse in community service-learning.  Power is significant in the practice of  81 community service-learning relationships.  Actors in the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship were aware of traditional power inequities and both acted and reacted in relation to their conceptions of power dynamics in different community service-learning contexts. In particular, students actively engaged in practices which reversed or minimized traditional power inequities between themselves and the community, typically in contexts where socio-economic differences were distinct.  Students and YWCA staff reacted negatively when traditional power inequities between academia and the community were perceived to resurface.  These tensions point to need to build more connections between university faculty and other actors in the community service- learning relationship.  The power relations in the community service-learning relationship are made more complex by the many ways in which webs of relations intersect, at all points revealing the a range of roles and responsibilities being articulated in practice.  In this case, conflict surfaced when these different networks, and differing intentions and senses of responsibilities, came together.  This result points to the need to share knowledge about the histories of the relationships with actors involved in community service-learning practice.  New members to the relationship, for example a project leader, may better understand the dynamics of the YWCA-Learning Exchange relationship and their own role in this relationship when orientated to the bigger picture (e.g., YWCA strategic goals around community service-learning).   82 Popular theoretical perspectives in community service-learning advocate for the practice of critical community service-learning.  The analysis of this case found that critical perspectives direct attention to the dynamics of power primarily within the act of service, rather than the broader context.  As a consequence of this focus, critical perspectives of community service-learning may lead to a tendency to place value judgments on the types of services being carried out in community service-learning, and suggest that ‘doing something for’ and tangible outcomes of service are of least value and most like charity. In this analysis, power dynamics were explored from the perspectives of the many actors involved in this case, across multiple contexts of activity, revealing a nuanced picture of power dynamics.  While students made distinctions between activities and outcomes of community service-learning which seemed to correspond to either a charity or a social justice approach, the same distinctions were not made by YWCA staff. In addition, the Learning Exchange staff and the YWCA staff contributed to the conceptions of community service-learning activities when describing their own roles in this practice. The analysis presented here suggests that while encouraging a respectful and reflective sensitivity to the community context, the conception of service found in the literature may limit who and what is counted in community service-learning theory.  Whereas the literature constructs the conception of a community that is passive and at risk of being oppressed by the university, YWCA staff added complexity to this perspective by articulating a sense of their own power in community service-learning practice.   YWCA staff saw themselves as integral to the very existence and success of community service-learning.  The analysis points to the uniqueness of the YWCA-  83 Learning Exchange community-university relationship; this uniqueness contributes to our understanding of community service-learning and provides impetus to engage in further study into the operation and conceptions of power in community service-learning relationships.  Butin (2005) argues that community service-learning’s ultimate long-term success will be limited by the ways in which it is theorized and enacted.  Results from this study point to ways in which those engaged in research in community service-learning may begin the process of ‘re-scripting’ community service-learning discourse to better reflect the reality of practice, by looking beyond the act of service to broaden definitions of the activities, outcomes, and relationships.  The results from this study also suggest that a broader conception of power should be integrated into community service-learning discourse. This conception would incorporate the many dimensions of power that are at play in community service-learning relationships: symbolic (historical legacies of academia and community relationships), temporal (the history of each intersecting relationship), and spatial (the intersection of networks of relationships).  Himley (2004), though actively questioning community service-learning, argues that it is precisely the fact that this practice and theory makes us question that makes it worthwhile to pursue:  In the contemporary world, with its brutal geography of increasing inequality, it has become too easy to know others by watching a film, reading a book, sitting next to them on the subway, wearing another’s style of clothes, vacationing in a foreign country, or taking on an alternative identity in an online chat room.  Community service is an  84 embodied encounter, noisy and “morally ambiguous” (cf. Duneier) – a noisy encounter that often does and should agitate us, teachers and students alike (p. 434).   This exploration of power in community service-learning holds lessons for the field of social planning.  Just as the practice of community service-learning is ‘noisy’ so is the context of any planning venture.  Planning theory, like community service-learning theory, needs to be constructed by the voices of all involved in the practice, so as to reflect the multitudes of experiences and perspectives in any planning context.  In actively exploring the experiences of community members in the process of theory- building, planning theorists and practitioners may reflect on their own positions and potential blind spots and be themselves transformed by the experience.  Theory should both reflect and hold insight into daily practices.  Continuous conversations between theory and practice will enable deeper understanding of our experiences and enable positive changes in our communities, a context in which power dynamics are ever- present.  7.2 Recommendations  This research identifies a need for the discourse of community service-learning to continue to be developed through the exploration and analysis of community service- learning practice.  Exploring, and contributing to, this discourse will involve questioning the assumptions in current theoretical perspectives in this field and conducting further research into the experiences of all actors in community service-learning practice. Recommendations for those engaging in research and theory-building in the field of community service-learning are the following:  I. Further research should aim to unearth actors’ experiences and conceptions of power dynamics in community service-learning.  This research should be ethnographic and exploratory and could begin by asking: how do actors in community service-learning want to be involved; how do they want to  85 contribute to community service-learning; what do actors consider to be valuable means and outcomes in community service-learning; what are the activities all actors carry out in this practice.  The perspectives of community clients and staff, and university-based administrators of community service- learning are largely missing from the literature and for this reason, represent a valid priority for further research.  II. Further research should be conducted into the relationships that are created for and by community service-learning.  This research should pick up the questions that have been raised in the study of this case, including: how are the experiences of different types of community-based organizations similar and different; how does power operate in relationships between particular actors, including faculty and students, faculty and community, students and clients; how does the approach, or organizational structure, of the university administrative body impact power dynamics; what makes community and university organizations a good fit.  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Retrieved March 2009, from  Wiewel, W., & Lieber, M. (1998). Goal Achievement, Relationship Building, and Incrementalism: The Challenges of University-Community Partnerships. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 17(4), 291-301.  YWCA Strategic Plan 2007/2008.  (2008).  YWCA Vancouver. (2009).   Retrieved March 2009, from  91 Appendices Appendix A: Interview Guide 1: In-depth interview questions  1. I know a little bit about the CSL (community service-learning) placement/project in which you participated this year, but could provide an overview of the placement/project?  2. What was your role in this placement/project?  Probes: when did you first get involved?  What were your responsibilities?  3. Was this your first time participating in a CSL program with the UBC Learning Exchange?  If not, can you briefly describe your involvement in CSL until now?  4. In this most recent placement/project, what individuals, or groups did you collaborate with the most?  Probes: peers? Community leaders in a particular organization, or at UBC? Community members?  5. In your opinion, were there other individuals or groups who made this placement/project possible?  6. How would you describe the relationship between all the individuals or groups you’ve listed? Note: Question will adapt to subject’s response  7. Based on your experiences, what do you think the UBC Learning Exchange and the YWCA can achieve together, that they cannot achieve alone?  Probe: what are the positive outcomes of CSL?  8. In your particular placement/project, what are you most proud of?  9. Can you describe a time when you felt empowered during the course of planning or carrying out your placement/project?  10. Suppose we went back to that particular time, could you describe what was going on in your placement/project?  Probes: what happened before?  What happened after?  11. In your recollection of this time, what emotions stand out for you?  12. Can you describe a time when you felt disempowered during the course of planning or carrying out your placement/project?  13. Once again, could imagine yourself back in that moment and describe what was happening in the placement/project at this time?   92 14. Can you describe a moment when you felt powerful?  15. This time, can you recollect a moment when you felt powerless?  16. In your opinion, are there differences between feeling powerful and empowered? Powerless and disempowered?  If so, could you elaborate on what these differences might be?  17. Based on your experiences, how would you describe the power dynamics in the relationships between the YWCA and the UBC Learning Exchange?  18. In your opinion, are your experiences of feeling powerful or powerless, empowered or disempowered in this type of relationship between university people and community groups common?  19. Out of all the experiences you’ve described today, is there one that stands out from the rest?  Thank you very much for your time and input.  93 Appendix B: Certificate of Approval – Behavioural Research Ethics Board


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