Unpacking Global Service-Learning in Developing Contexts: A Case Study from Rural Tanzania

Ann M. Oberhauser, Rita Daniels


This article examines intercultural aspects of global service-learning (GSL) focused on gender and sustainable development in rural Tanzania. The discussion draws from critical development and postcolonial feminist approaches to examine how GSL addresses globalization, social histories, and political economies of development. The empirical analysis is based on a program that is designed to develop global awareness, intercultural competence, and critical thinking among students and communities. The relationships, discourses, and actions of the participants are examined through written assignments, a focus group discussion, and observations of activities and the community. The findings of this study contribute to broader debates concerning experiential learning that address students’ and other participants’ global awareness and intercultural competency. This program also encourages the formation of responsible and ethical partnerships among institutions and communities where GSL is taking place. In sum, we argue that critical approaches to global service-learning ultimately advance inclusive and transformational pedagogies and development.


global service-learning; gender and development; rural Tanzania; intercultural competence

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