Action Learning in Higher Education: Linking University and Community

By Zalizan Mohd Jelas, Norshidah Mohamad Salleh, Manisah Mohd. Ali and Rosadah Abd Majid.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In recent years, a growing body of theoretical and practical knowledge is emerging that assert the importance of action learning. An action learning program broadens the traditional definition of teaching and learning to include work-based and community-based experiences. This paper reviews the research on the use of action learning in higher education, focusing on university-community linkages. Action learning, in its widest sense, has been used in higher education in the form of internships, industrial placement, or practicum in various fileds of study. The definition of what action learning is and what is not will be discussed. This paper will also review the current employment of action learning, particularly in teacher education and professional development. Vignettes of action learning initiatives by lecturers in the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, which link classroom and community and how it brings benefits to faculty, students, and the community, will be presented. Approaches to designing action learning sets will be discussed and shared.

Keywords: Action Learning, Higher Education, Teacher Education, Teacher Professional Development University-Community Linkages

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp.305-316. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 797.130KB).

Prof. Zalizan Mohd Jelas

Professor, Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor

Professor Zalizan Mohd Jelas’s research interest is inclusive education.

Norshidah Mohamad Salleh

Lecturer, Faculty Of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor

Norshidah Mohamad Salleh’s area of interest is Special Education.

Dr. Manisah Mohd. Ali

Assoc. Prof. Faculty of Education,, Department of Foundation of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Manisah Mohd. Ali is an associate professor in special needs education at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She teaches special education courses. Her research areas are special needs education, inclusive education and literacy.

Dr. Rosadah Abd Majid

Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Foundation,, Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Rosadah Abd Majid is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She teaches special education courses and actively involves in research works and publications. Her special area of interest is in gifted education and the special educational needs among students. Her work had been presented at various international conferences on the gifted and talented such as; at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom and at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. She was one of the administrators incharged of the special gifted school at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Her responsibilities included selection of teachers, students’ identification, and designing of the curriculum for the gifted school. Her present work involves study on leadership characteristics among UKM students.


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