Stepping Up, Keeping on Track, and Pulling Your Own Weight: Collaborative Arts-Based Service-Learning Metaphors

Marcy Meyer


In this study, the author explores metaphors related to students’ experiences conducting collaborative arts-based ethnographic research in a U.S. nonprofit organization. A metaphor analysis of 25 students’ essays revealed they were most likely to frame their experiences with arts-based service learning as a journey or a sports contest. The author examines the extent to which students’ metaphors legitimize or delegitimize arts-based service learning, as well as the degree of novelty that characterizes these metaphors. She explores the implications of her findings for teaching and promoting arts-based service learning in the academy.


ABR pedagogy, ethnography, community engagement

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