This qualitative case study investigates howservice-learning may enable self-direction and the devel- opment of a critical consciousness for marginalized high school students by exploring the dynamics of service-learning through a theoretical framework of critical theory. Service-learning is theorized to counter the oppressive nature of schooling as defined by critical theorists; however, little research exists to clarify the implications of the pedagogy on student empowerment. I consider the negotia- tion of power and knowledge that may empower students, redefining their experience of schooling and their identities as learners. By exploring processes of empowerment and the social structures created through service-learning, I document three marginalized, male, urban high school students’ self-authorship as they negotiate learning spaces within community. Data analysis revealed how service-learning legitimized lived experience and enabled the re-writing of self through the construc- tion of new social/intellectual spaces. Participants’ experiences offer insight into the pedagogy of service-learning for encountering transformational moments between self, society, and other.
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