Design Education Reconsidered: Faculty Perceptions of Community Engagement in Landscape Architecture
Bohannon, Cermetrius Lynell
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Colleges and universities have been linked to society since their inception. In recent times this linkage has come under scrutiny as society's expectations of higher education have become more expansive and diverse. Over the past decade, there have been various shifts in pedagogy and scholarship in higher education, including the shift towards increased civic responsibility. One such shift is the role of universities and the communities they serve. This shift toward partnership and reciprocity is termed engagement. Community engagement has emerged as an important academic strategy used to enhance and complement traditional learning methods in higher education. According to the Campus Compact, the number of faculty members who include community engagement as part of their teaching, research, and service has increased (Campus Compact, 2012). While faculty are encouraged to incorporate community engagement into their work (Colby, Ehrlich, and Stephens, 2003), nominal research focuses on the perceptions of faculty members in landscape architecture on community engagement. This research explores the current state of community engagement within landscape architecture and identifies the benefits and barriers that foster or inhibit faculty from using community engagement as part of their teaching, research, and service. This study employed a mixed methods research design. Two sequential phases were utilized. The first phase consisted of faculty responses to the Community Engagement in Landscape Architecture Education (CELAE), which consisted of 70 questions. The second phase consisted of in-depth interviews with faculty who self selected to participate in the qualitative phase of the study. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data, and content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Findings indicate faculty members in landscape architecture believe that community engagement has a positive impact on student's educational experiences, provides opportunities for research and scholarship. Faculty also reveal how faculty in landscape architecture define community engagement in regards to other terminology that is currently used in higher education to describe working with communities to solve problems. Findings from this study may be used to help landscape architecture faculty members design and develop efforts to help promote community engagement as part of their teaching research and service.
- Doctoral Dissertations