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Exploring community residents’ motivations for interacting with American field school students in South Africa

Wainwright, Megan; Sicwebu, N.; Colvin, C.; Gong, E.; Henderson, R.; Swartz, A.

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Authors

N. Sicwebu

C. Colvin

E. Gong

R. Henderson

A. Swartz



Abstract

Background: Learning by experience in field schools (FSs) depends implicitly on the willingness of local residents to engage with students. Although critical perspectives have highlighted the potential harms of study abroad on local people, their views are less frequently investigated. Purpose: The purpose of the study is to explore the perspectives and motivations of local residents who agreed to be interviewed by American undergraduates undertaking a 5-week FS in community health research methods in Cape Town, South Africa. Methodology/Approach: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 residents to explore their perspectives on why they, and others, were willing to be interviewed by students. These were thematically analyzed. Findings/Conclusions: Emphasis was given to the status implicit in being “a student” and “a visitor” and the respect, hospitality, and support this status engendered. To be a student was to be a child and not in a position to help. However, expectations were that help would come later. Residents valued the conversations they had which were seen as opportunities for enjoyment, exchange, and bridging social divides. Implications: In experiential learning programs such as these, local residents are a key community learning resource. Certain design features appear to help optimize the engagement and relationship-building valued by students and residents alike.

Citation

Wainwright, M., Sicwebu, N., Colvin, C., Gong, E., Henderson, R., & Swartz, A. (2019). Exploring community residents’ motivations for interacting with American field school students in South Africa. Journal of Experiential Education, 42(2), 171-184. https://doi.org/10.1177/1053825918821140

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 2, 2019
Publication Date Jun 30, 2019
Deposit Date Dec 6, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 6, 2018
Journal Journal of Experiential Education
Print ISSN 1053-8259
Electronic ISSN 2169-009X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 2
Pages 171-184
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1053825918821140

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Copyright Statement
Wainwright, Megan, Sicwebu, N., Colvin, C. Gong, E. Henderson, R. & Swartz, A. (2019). Exploring community residents’ motivations for interacting with American field school students in South Africa. Journal of Experiential Education 42(2): 171-184. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.







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