How is book-learning at university made relevant to societal needs? What pedagogical framework helps to transform students from those who know about major challenges of the twenty-first century to those who know how to respond to such challenges in a particular socio-cultural and ecological context? This narrative about the practical experience of Canadian students in two separate international-development classes shows that learning is ultimately about linking the education of students to its consequences for communities and society. The students’ maturation from a community of enquirers to a community of social practice is not just an intellectual transformation from ‘knowing that’ to ‘learning how’, but also the development of a heightened ethical awareness of the consequential link between freedom and responsibility.
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