Reciprocal service-learning: Texas border head start and master of occupational therapy students

Alison J. Beck, Karin J. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper describes a reciprocal service-learning project between Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) students and a Head Start program on the Texas-Mexico border. Education of occupational therapy students at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio includes local community learning experiences. However, this project challenged the students and faculty to step outside of and beyond their boundaries to address the unique needs of children in Del Rio, Texas. In a reciprocal service-learning situation, students provided developmental screenings, presentations, and classroom suggestions to the Head Start staff. In turn, the Head Start staff reciprocated by providing presentations and classroom cultural inclusion experiences to the students. The project outcomes suggest that collaborative participation can give students and their community partners broader frameworks from which to view enablement and a sense of mutual responsibility. From this starting point students can be encouraged to explore issues of social inclusion and occupational justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-23
Number of pages17
JournalOccupational Therapy in Health Care
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 18 2007


  • Head Start
  • Occupational therapy education
  • Service-learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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