We argue that in order to help forward John Dewey’s vision of a pragmatist educational metaphysic, civic engagement through service learning in the basic media studies communication course is a possible plan of action. Specifically, we focus on basic media studies communication courses (e.g., introduction to media criticism, media and society, media and culture) and discuss ways to implement civic-oriented service learning activities for the purposes of fostering greater civic engagement. We draw on literature concerning media literacy and service learning that lead to a case study featuring application of Dewey’s philosophy to a media literacy project. This essay is ontologically and epistemologically important as it adds to our scholarly perspective of the service learning experience for teacher, student, and community, while also contributing knowledge about the inquiry process of basic communication course scholarship.



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