Service-learning and initial training of educational professionals

  • Begoña Martínez Domínguez
  • Isabel Martínez Domínguez Universidad del País Vasco


Service-learning is an important approach that deserves to be taken into account in the process currently used to review and improve the training of education professionals in Spain. This article proposes that three major concepts from the practice of service-learning be integrated into the training of educational professionals. The first is that education for citizens be intellectually rigorous, contextually connected and committed to civic-mindedness and social responsibility. The second is that there be prior preparation that links the curriculum and academic learning of future professionals with projects that are focused on performing service for the community. The third is that partnerships and shared responsibilities be established between universities, training centres, curricula, and student training to address community needs and demands. In this way, service-learning can be a meaningful contribution to institutions and all agents involved in the task of training professionals who are aware of and committed to justice and equality. The final part of the article describes a specific experience of service-learning carried out as part of the Social Education degree at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) that exemplifies the above points.