Vol 4 No 6 (2019): IJRDO - Journal of Educational Research | ISSN: 2456-2947

Learning through Service and Volunteerism: The pedagogical Model in Higher Education in Finland in Degree Programme in Social Services

Eija Raatikainen
University of Helsinki
Published June 28, 2019
  • Learning through Service and Volunteerism,
  • volunteer work, internship in higher education,
  • Service Learning
How to Cite
Eija Raatikainen. (2019). Learning through Service and Volunteerism. IJRDO - Journal of Educational Research (ISSN: 2456-2947), 4(6), 17-31. Retrieved from https://ijrdo.org/index.php/er/article/view/2961


This paper explores the voluntary work course (internship) in higher education, in Social Services Programme. It explores the learning outcomes of a course called “Internship in Voluntary Work” (five credits). The paper presents “The Pedagogical Model of Learning Volunteerism” that the course is based
on. The paper also utilizes research of student learning outcomes of the course. Research questions are “What did you learn from volunteer work (internship)?” and “What do you think is the significance of volunteer work?” The data were collected during 2016-2017 and it included 134 participants (n=134). The data were analyzed with content analysis. The findings from the analysis of a digital self-evaluation form shows that students consider volunteer work (Internship) very significant not only for the society but also for their own learning and professional development. It seems to offer a possibility to learn wider skills and abilities than the curriculum shows. According to the results, the findings also shown, those students’ have learned many meta- and transversal skills (Heckman & Kautz 2012; Rodin & Levy 2015) during the internship.


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Borgonovi, F. (2008). Doing well by doing good. The relationship between formal volunteering and selfreported health and happiness. Social Science and Medicine, 66 (11):2321-34.
  2. Emler, J. − E. Giles, D. Jr. (1999). Where’s the Learning in Service Learning? San Francisco: Josei-Bass. A Wiley Imprint.
  3. Fleck, K. & Gitmo, L. (2011). Service-Learning in Occupational Therapy Education. Philosophy and Practice. Canada: Jones and Barletta Publishers.
  4. Furgo, A. (1996). Service Learning: A Balanced Approach to Experiential Education. In Taylor, B. e d.): Expanding Boundaries: Service and Learning. Washington, DC: Corporation for National Service.
  5. Gergen M. M. and Gergen K. J. (2000). Qualitative Inquiry – Tensions and Transformations. In Denzin N. K. and Lincoln Y. S. The Handbook of Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publications, pp. 1025-1046.
  6. Gibbs, G.R. (2007). Analyzing Qualitative Data. London: Sage
  7. Grönlund, H. (2015). Vapaaehtoistoiminta lapsiperheiden tukena: Perheiden, ammattilaisten jaapaaehtoisten kokemukset. Teoksessa Vapaaehtoistoiminta lapsiperheiden tukena. Perheiden, ammattilaisten ja
  8. vapaaehtoisten kokemukset. HelsinkiMission tutkimusraportti, 2015.
  9. Grönlund, H. (2012). Volunteerism as a mirror of individuals and society: reflections from young adults in Finland. University of Helsinki. https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/32919
  10. Hackman, J. & Katu, T. (2012). Hard evidence on soft skills. Labor Economics 10, 451-464.
  11. Isacsson A., Raatikainen, E. & Ekström, M. (2017). Transversal skills and emotional intelligence in higher professional education. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training (in process)
  12. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall.
  13. Manninen, N. & Raatikainen, E. (2014). Learning Through Service and Volunteerism – Ideas for Universities of Applied Sciences. http://kamu.metropolia.fi/wpcontent/uploads/2015/04/KAMU_Learning-ThroughService-and-Volunteerism.pdf
  14. Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook -2nded.
  15. California: SAGE Publications.
  16. Musick, M.A. & Wilson, J. (2003). Volunteering and depression: the role of psychological and social resources in different age groups. Social Science and Medicine, 56(2):259-69.
  17. Raatikainen, E. (2017). Vapaaehtoistoiminnan harjoittelun itsearviointimalli korkeakoulussa. Teoksessa
  18. Tuomi, J., Joronen, K. & Huhdanpää, A. (eds.) OIVALTAMISEN ILOA. Osaamisen ydintä etsimässä. 106–
  19. http://julkaisut.tamk.fi/PDF-tiedostot-web/Muut/Taito2017-oivaltamisen-iloa.pdf
  20. Raatikainen, E. & Tast, S. (2016). Sosiaalialan opinnollistettu vapaaehtoistoiminta ja sen itsearviointimalliCase Metropolia. Teoksessa Opi työssä - Uusia toimintamalleja opintojen aikaisen työn opinnollistamiseen.
  21. Verkkovirta. Työn opinnollistamisesta verkostoyhteistyönä, 25.
  22. http://www.amkverkkovirta.fi/sites/amkverkkovirta.fi/files/HH_OpiTyossa_verkko.pdf
  23. Rodin, J. & Levy, F. (2015). Recruiting Preferred Skills. Bloomberg Business 43, pp. 13-19.
  24. Robson, C. (2012). Real World research. Third Edition. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. UK.
  25. Seifer, S. D. & Conners, K. (eds.) (2007). Community Campus Partnership for Health: FacultyToolkit for
  26. Device-learning in Higher education. Scotts Valley, CA: National Service Learning Clearinghouse.
  27. Tuurnas, S. (2016). The Professional Side of Co-Production. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 2163.
  28. Tampere: University Press. Yliopistopaino.
  29. Warren, J.L. (2012). Does Service-Learning Increase Student Learning? A Meta-Analysis.
  30. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, pp.56–61.
  31. Wilson, J. & Musick, M. (1997). Who cares? Towards an Integrated theory of Volunteer Work. American Sociological Review, 62, pp. 694–713.