Communicating Ethical Engagement Abroad: A Content Analysis of Service-Learning Study Abroad Third-Party Provider Websites
Keywords:international service-learning, third-party providers, communicating ethical engagement, content analysis
This article shares the results of a study that analyzed the website content of eight third-party providers that offer service-learning study abroad programs to college students. The study looked specifically at the information about service-learning projects and how host communities, community partners, and target populations are portrayed or represented within that content. Data are analyzed through the lens of two ethical guidelines for international service-learning defined by The Forum on Education Abroad: prioritization of human dignity and community autonomy; and recognizing the risk of paternalism, exploitation, and neocolonial behavior. The findings of this study serve to provide baseline data about the public information shared by international service-learning program providers about service projects and partners as well as insights into how organizations that produce web content about service-learning partnerships can design information that meets ethical standards related to upholding dignity, respecting autonomy, and challenging paternalism.
Bamber, P.M. & Pike, M. (2013). Towards an ethical ecology of international service learning. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45(4), 535-559. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2012.675354 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2012.675354
Barbie Savior [@barbiesavior]. (2019, March 13). Instagram photographs. Retrieved December 11, 2019 from, https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq-A-dvBLiH/. Screenshot by author.
Chieffo, L. & Spaeth, C. (2017). Guide to successful short-term programs abroad (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: NAFSA – Association of International Educators.
Dixon, B. (2015). International service learning: Analytical review of published research literature. The Forum on Education Abroad. 107–131. DOI: https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v25i1.348
Goodwin, H. (2015). Tourism, good intentions, and the road to hell: Ecotourism and volunteering. Brown Journal of World Affairs, 22(1), 37-50.
Guidelines for community engagement, service-learning, and volunteer experiences abroad. (2018). The Forum on Education Abroad. Retrieved from https://forumea.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Guidelines-for-Community-Engagement-P4.pdf
Haile, T. (2014, March 9). What you think you know about the web is wrong. Time. Retrieved from https://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-web-is-wrong/
Hains-Wesson, R. (2017). Why aren’t we talking? Third-party providers and mobility programs. Higher Education Research & Development, 36(4), 866-869. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2017.1284033 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2017.1284033
Hains-Wesson, R. & Appleby, M. (2017) A perspective on third-party providers and study tour programs: A mixed method study. Issues in Educational Research, 27(3), 435-452.
Hartman, E., & Kiely, R. (2014). Pushing boundaries: Introduction to the global service-learning special section. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 21, 55 – 63.
Hernandez-Maskivker, G., Lapointe, D., & Aquino, R. (2018). The impact of volunteer tourism on local communities: a managerial perspective. International Journal of Tourism Research, 20, 650-659. https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.2213 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.2213
Heyl, J.D. (2011). Third-Party Program Providers and Education Abroad: Partner or Competitor? AIEA Occasional Paper. Retrieved from https://www.aieaworld.org/assets/docs/OccasionalPapers/third%20party%20providers-%20heyl-%20op.pdf
Humanitarians of Tinder. (n.d.) Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://humanitariansoftinder.com/image/152318000859. Screenshot by author.
Kurtzman, R. (2017). Working with a program provider or other outside organization. In L. Chieffo & C. Spaeth (Eds.), The Guide to Successful Short-Term Programs Abroad (3rd ed., pp 195-214). Washington, D.C.: NAFSA – Association of International Educators.
Melles, G. (2018). Sustainable community development or voluntourism: Sustainable housing in rural Maharashtra. Social Sciences, 7, 247-260. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7120247 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7120247
QUIP: Recognition. (n.d.) Retrieved September 21, 2019, from https://forumea.org/get-involved/quality-assurance-programs/quip/institutions-and-organizations-recognized-for-meeting-the-standards/
Rhodes, G., Loberg, L., & Hubbard, A. (2014). Historical, philosophical, and practical issues in providing global learning opportunities through study abroad. In A. Highum (Eds), Undergraduate Global Education: Issues For Faculty, Staff, And Students (pp. 5-13). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Schwarz, K.C. & Richey, L.A. (2019). Humanitarian humor, digilantism, and the dilemmas of representing volunteer tourism on social media. New Media & Society, 21(9), 1928-1946. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1461444819834509 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444819834509
Sin, H.L. & He, S. (2019) Voluntouring on Facebook and Instagram: Photography and social media in constructing the ‘Third World’ experience. Tourist Studies, 19(2), 215-237. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468797618815043 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1468797618815043
Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. (2015). The Forum on Education Abroad. Retrieved from https://forumea.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Standards-2015.pdf
State of the Field 2017. (2018). The Forum on Education Abroad. Retrieved from https://forumea.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ForumEA-State-of-the-Field-18-web-version.pdf
Steele, J. & Dredge, D. (2017). The liquid organization of volunteer tourism: Implications for responsibility. International Journal of Tourism Research, 19, 715-726. https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.2143 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.2143