Subversive Service Learning: Shifting the Locus of the Problem

Neriko Doerr


This article introduces subversive service learning, a new type of critical service learning that shifts the locus of the “problem” from the marginalized group to the mainstream society, subverting both mainstream perspectives and the deficit model of a community being “helped.” Inspired by Whiteness studies, it pursues social change through service learning. This article illustrates how this subversive service learning works in three cases from the author’s college 200-level class in Fall 2016.


deficit model of service learning, Native Americans, publicizing hidden history, Whiteness studies, witnessing and reporting

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