Patti H. Clayton, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Stephanie Stokamer, Pacific University
Leslie Garvin, North Carolina Campus Compact
Deanna Shoemaker, Monmouth University
Stacey Muse, Nevada Volunteers
Katrina Norvell, Roger Williams University

Document Type Article


As a group of service learning and community engagement (SLCE) practitioner-scholars from within and beyond the academy, we are working together and separately to understand and advance co-creation in the practice of and research on SLCE. We have talked, read, thought, and written with colleagues along these lines for years. Most recently, we have had the opportunity to look, critically and appreciatively, at a rich collection of stories about research on SLCE to see what insights and questions they offer to help guide the SLCE movement and associated research in this important direction. The narratives are those of established scholars, compiled into Part Two of this volume. The contributors reflect on the past, present, and future of their work with the intent to document lessons learned and generate recommendations for improving research on SLCE. The role of this chapter is to synthesize some of the key ideas shared in those narratives and examine them with an eye to implications. The six of us have critically reflected on these stories through the lens of our own positionalities, commitments, and experiences to further envision and refine co-creation—framed here as co-inquiry or co-, more simply—as a way of “walking our talk” in research on SLCE. We intend this chapter to encourage and enable SLCE practitioner-scholars—by which we mean all who partner in the process with a spirit of inquiry, connect their learning with that of others, and thereby advance knowledge and practice—to see themselves as co-inquirers, to conduct their work as co-inquiry, and to join with us in advancing knowledge and practice related to this important dynamic in research on SLCE.