Catalysts of Social Change Examining Leadership Development in Service-Learning

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The world direly needs leaders as agents of change in a society characterized by disparities in the quality of life due to unequal access to resources. A pedagogical practice increasingly used in higher education for students to acquire leadership skills is service-learning. However, few studies have examined the long-lasting effects of service-learning on student leadership development. Hence, this case study explores the enduring influence of service-learning on leadership development among 13 graduates engaged in a public health care setting in the Philippines as part of their coursework in 2014. Informed by the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, thematic analysis of focus group discussions revealed transformative leadership as the enduring influence of service-learning. Opportunities in service-learning for meaning-making seemed contributory for graduates to commit themselves as agents of change in society through their chosen profession. These findings support the view that service-learning is a high-impact pedagogical practice for teaching transformative leadership.