Introduction to service-learning

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On Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Ohio Campus Compact led a full day pre-conference workshop on service-learning as part of the 5th Annual International Conflict-Resolution Education Conference which took place in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. This presentation introduced basic concepts of service-learning.

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  • Jones’ article, “The underside of service-learning” deals specifically with this topic. She describes the students who just don’t get it. In different ways they do not engage with the service or the academic part of the class. They are unable to see the connection that is the most important part of service-learning. They might then embark upon their service insincerely which can be a severe consequence for the community site and the class as a whole.
  • Jones’ article, “The underside of service-learning” deals specifically with this topic. She describes the students who just don’t get it. In different ways they do not engage with the service or the academic part of the class. They are unable to see the connection that is the most important part of service-learning. They might then embark upon their service insincerely which can be a severe consequence for the community site and the class as a whole.
  • Introduction to service-learning

    1. 1. Service-LearningWhat is service-learning and why Dick Kinsley and Susan Studer King Ohio Campus Compact www.ohiocampuscompact.org
    2. 2. Participant Outcome:sI have few answers and many more questions. I am confused as ever, but I believe that I am confused at a higher level about more important questions.
    3. 3. Experiential Education
    4. 4. Setting the Contexts Importance of service-learnings Learning outcomess Different approaches to talking about service-learning and civic engagements Resources on service-learning
    5. 5. What is service-learning?Service-learning is a form of experiential educationcharacterized by all of the following: student participation in an organized serviceactivity participation in service activities connected tospecific learning outcomes participation in service activities that meetidentified community needs structured time for student reflection andconnection of the service experience to learning (Abes,Jackson & Jones, 2002)
    6. 6. Service-Learning in theLandscape of Higher Education“Reform” literature emphasizes the “engaged” institution and the importance of developing citizenship and civic participation in students.
    7. 7. Service-Learning in theLandscape of Higher EducationService-learning has the potential to address some of the concerns raised by increasingly critical public and private sectors.The last 20+ years have seen decreased public fiscal support for higher education and calls for a higher education that is relevant and connected to addressing the increasingly complex needs of a constantly shifting workforce and society.
    8. 8. Key Themes in Service-Learning•Collaboration with the community (reciprocity)•Importance of reflection•Active learning (meaningful work)•Development of a sense of caring•Promotion of a sense of civic responsibility•Impact societal problems (O’Grady, 2000)
    9. 9. Strengths of Service-Learnings Models good practice through the emphasis on collaboration and reciprocity and the high value placed on caring and commitments Promotes reflective thinkings Increases self-knowledge, cognitive complexity, knowledge of diverse others and communitiess Deepens commitments to the “common good” which seek a more just, equitable world
    10. 10. Outcomes of Service-Learning“Service, combined with learning, adds value to each and transforms both.” (Honnet and Poulsen, 1989, p.1)
    11. 11. Outcomes of Service-Learnings “Transformative potential”s Ability to connect subject matter with “real- life” experience: experiential learnings Personal development, critical thinking, sensitivity to diversity, and development of citizenship (Eyler and Giles, 1999; Jones, 2002)
    12. 12. Information about outcomesresearchEyler and Giles (1999) process spanned six years.Two major studies:- Survey of 1500 college students from 20 institutions with interviews of 66 students from 7 institutions- Interviews with 67 students active in service- learning from 6 institutions.All results statistically significant of .05 level or higher
    13. 13. What is learning?Service-learning is embedded in a view of learning as:• Beginning with personal connections• Useful as its core purpose• Developmental and incremental• Transformative• Foundational to citizenship in a complex society
    14. 14. Major learning outcomesStereotyping and Tolerance outcomes• More positive view of people with whom they work• Growing appreciation for difference: seeing similarities through differences• Increased capacity for toleranceRelated Program Characteristics:Placement quality, reflection activity, application of service and subject matter, diversity
    15. 15. Major learning outcomesPersonal Development outcomes• Greater self-knowledge, spiritual growth, reward in helping others• Increased personal efficacy, increased relationship between service-learning and career skill developmentRelated Program Characteristics:Placement quality, reflection activity, application of service and subject matter, diversity
    16. 16. Major learning outcomesInterpersonal Development outcomes• Increased ability to work well with others• Increased leadership skillsRelated Program Characteristics:Placement quality where students are challenged and have appropriate opportunity to take responsibility over work
    17. 17. Major learning outcomesCommunity and College Connection outcomes• Increased connectedness to community• Development of connectedness with peers• Increased closeness of faculty-student relationshipsRelated Program Characteristics:Strong community voice, placement quality, reflection, and application
    18. 18. Service-learning design matters!• High quality placements matching students’ interests and developmental readiness with opportunity for direct service• Application/Connection between course subject matter and issues raised by service experience• Structured reflection in the form of writing and discussion• Diverse life experiences, view points, and ways of knowing are integral to design• Presence and validation of the wisdom of community voice
    19. 19. The underside of service-learningThe complexities that emerge when undergraduate students engage with ill- structured, complex social issues in the community service settings typically associated with service-learning courses
    20. 20. The underside of service-learning Some students just “don’t get it” Cannot see the connections between their service work and the course content Embark upon their service insincerely: severe consequences for service site and class (Jones, 2002)
    21. 21. Principles of Good Practice: Mintz & Hesser (1996)An effective program:• engages people in responsible and challenging actions for the common good,• provides structured opportunities for people to reflect critically on experience,• articulates clear service and learning goals for everyone involved,• allows for those with needs to define needs,• clarifies all partners’ responsibilities,• matches service providers and needs while recognizing changing circumstances,
    22. 22. Principles of Good Practice (con’t)An effective program:• expects genuine, active, and sustained organizational commitment,• includes training, supervision, monitoring, support, recognition, and evaluation to meet service and learning goals,• expects that time commitment for service and learning is flexible, appropriate, and in the best interests of all involved; and• is committed to participation by and with diverse populations. Mintz & Hesser, 1996, pp.41-44
    23. 23. “How will we know when we get there?” said Alice. “Oh,”said the Cat, “You will always get somewhere if you don’t care where you are going.”
    24. 24. Service-Learning and Civic EngagementMany lenses used to consider the following questions:• What? What is service-learning and civic engagement?• So What? What are the goals and desired outcomes of service-learning and civic engagement?• Now What? Where do we go from here as individuals, as a department, and as an institution?
    25. 25. Civic Engagement: What kind ofcitizen?• Personally Responsible• Participatory• Justice-Oriented Westheimer & Kahne, 2004
    26. 26. Service-Learning: What’s the point?• Charity paradigm• Project-based paradigm• Social change paradigm Morton (1995, 1999)
    27. 27. Service-Learning: What’s the point?• Technical Conceptualization• Cultural Conceptualization• Political Conceptualization• Post-Modern Conceptualization Butin, 2005
    28. 28. Lenses matter….• No lens is “perfect• Important to see the “blindspots” in your own lens in order to see other lenses• Progress toward institutionalization can and MUST work across different orientations, frameworks, paradigms, etc.
    29. 29. “Education at its best – this profound human transaction called teaching and learning – is not just about getting information or getting a job. Education is about healing and wholeness. It is about empowerment, liberation, transcendence, about renewing the vitality of life. It is about finding and claiming ourselves and our place in the world.” ~ bell hooks
    30. 30. ResourcesOhio Campus Compacthttp://www.ohiocampuscompact.orgNational Campus Compact http://www.compact.orgService-Learning Clearinghouse http://www.servicelearning.orgCommunity College National Center for Civic Engagementhttp://www.mc.maricopa.edu/other/engagement/

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