Service Learning in Nutrition and Dietetics Education: A Systematic Review


Service learning (S+L) is a teaching method through which students apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life situations. In so doing, students help a community in addressing their needs and challenges, and, at the same time, students deepen their learning about specific contents in a university programme. The aim of this paper is to offer a systematic literature review on S+L, and, specifically, in the field of Nutrition and Dietetics (N&D). Although S+L has received attention since 1979, little is known about this methodology in N&D programmes and the ways in which they deal with malnutrition and food insecurity, especially in underdeveloped countries. Drawing on the PRISMA method, 132 academic articles on S+L in N&D were retrieved from three well-known databases (Web of Science core collection, SciELO and Scopus) between September and October 2022. After examining the articles according to the inclusion/exclusion criteria, 11 articles were selected for thematic analysis. Results show that S+L in N&D is incipient and underdeveloped, especially in developing countries. Furthermore, most of the publications found were from United States (9 of 11), one from Canada and one from South Africa. This poses an important challenge regarding the production of knowledge on S+L in underdeveloped countries. Implications regarding impact and the invisibility of S+L in underdeveloped countries will be discussed.

Author Information
Ximena Cataldo, University of Tarapacá, Chile
Carolina Guzmán, University of Tarapacá, Chile

Paper Information
Conference: PCE2023
Stream: Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon