Critical Currents in Community Service Learning and Community-Based Research: History, Theory and Practice

Ken Cunningham, Kerry E. Vachta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Brulle (2000) has noted the failure of the recent literature in critical theory to reflect the commitment of its founders to applying their philosophical and theoretical scholarship to create concrete social change. The authors have taken up the challenge to recover critical theory’s “forgotten materialist component” and simultaneously responded to the call to reinvigorate the civic mission of the public university through efforts to integrate critical theory with community service learning and community-based research. The paper discusses historical, philosophical and theoretical issues in this effort and some reflections on our attempt to apply them in practice through the revitalization of the Center for Community Action and Research at Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Social Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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