Establishing a faculty community engagement unit: A case study from a built environment

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This paper proposes that the cluster of disciplines that constitutes the built environment is well placed to demonstrate an approach to scholarship that aligns the educational and inquiry activities of the university with social engagement and application. The paper begins by connecting the organisational, epistemological and pedagogical implications of Boyer’s scholarship of engagement model. It then provides a case study of a unique unit within the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales. Established in 2005, the FBEOutThere! unit consolidates the community engagement and outreach activities of the Faculty of the Built Environment. It facilitates community interaction with the educational and research resources of the Faculty and the University through designing faculty courses that provide students with a service-learning experience while they work in interdisciplinary project contexts on challenging social issues identified by communities. The unit also undertakes research projects driven by community concerns. The development of this unit attempts to position community engagement at the intersection of organisational, epistemological and pedagogical values. The purpose in writing this paper is to illuminate for others the experience of establishing a faculty engagement unit that realises the challenge of implementing Boyer’s vision for the scholarship of engagement.
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Quinlan, Ann
Corkery, Linda
Roche, Ben
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