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Expansive Collaboration: A Model for Transformed Classrooms, Community-Based Research, and Service-Learning

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The Expansive Collaboration (EC) Model suggests methodologies promoting education for sustainable development. This EC Model, though not new, stresses: 1) communities be involved as vested partners; 2) collaborations include significantly different disciplines representing humanities, agriculture, art, business, engineering, health, communication; 3) tribal colleges or other non- Western (non-European derived) culture institutions link with non-native serving institutions; and 4) all stakeholders focus on a community-selected issue using the holistic process. The EC Model, designed to link institutions serving different cultures to focus together on a specific local or international community, developed over 10 experimentation years, with eight higher education institution partners, 130 students in overseas (Mali) components, and estimated 3,000 in U.S. classroom components. This model works in different educational and community settings with or without formal service-learning components. Authors present the Model's theoretical background and role in providing students in disciplines within and “beyond” agriculture with tools to implement sustainable development and use the holistic process. The Model operates under the premise that teaching environments, created when these diverse working teams form, deepen student interest and learning by promoting critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and enhance communication skills needed to solve nuanced issues. These transdisciplinary, multi-institutional approaches create synergy not possible with a simpler collective.



transdisciplinary collaboration, agriculture-based service-learning, international service-learning, sustainable development, holistic, poverty, participatory, transformative education, diversity

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