Service-Learning in Costa Rica and Indonesia


  • David D. Williams Brigham Young University
  • William D. Eiserman Colorado Foundation for Families and Children



College Faculty, Community Services, Curriculum Development, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, School Community Relationship, Service Learning, Student Participation


Calls are increasingly sounded for universities to better address their communities' and students' needs through service, as well as research and teaching. This article invites policy makers to re-examine university service, research, and teaching responsibilities by reflecting on roles service-learning plays in universities in Indonesia and Costa Rica. We conclude that service-learning plays a critical role and a key to expanding service-learning for students and understanding the utility of such a policy change is increased faculty involvement. Until more faculty explore the "why" and "how" of service-learning, research and teaching will dominate the university agenda.


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Author Biographies

David D. Williams, Brigham Young University

David D. Williams is an Associate Professor in the David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University. He earned his PhD in Educational Research and Evaluation Methods at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1981. His M.A. (1978) in Educational Leadership (emphasis in evaluation) is from Western Michigan University; his Bachelors degree (1976) is from Brigham Young University. Dr. Williams holds an appointment in the Department of Instructional Psychology and Technology at BYU, where he teaches graduate courses in qualitative inquiry, research methods, and educational evaluation. He conducts research in the areas of service and experiential learning, international education and development, integrated curricula, qualitative methods of research and evaluation, use of computers in education, and the role of the learner in the education process. He is currently conducting an evaluation of an innovative teacher preparation and professional development program in Utah.

William D. Eiserman, Colorado Foundation for Families and Children

William D. Eiserman earned his Ph.D. in Instructional Design at Brigham Young University in 1986. Currently Dr. Eiserman is on the research faculty in the Department of Communication Disorders and Speech Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He also has a joint appointment at the Colorado Foundation for Families and Children in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Eiserman's research focuses on the needs of families as they adapt to the birth of a child with a disability and on the various ways communities support these families and children. He also has a strong interest in service and experiential learning and has engaged in research on this topic in a variety of international contexts, one of which was initiated while on a Fulbright Fellowship in Indonesia.




How to Cite

Williams, D. D., & Eiserman, W. D. (1997). Service-Learning in Costa Rica and Indonesia. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 5, 4.