Ecology of Education and Service-Learning: Perspectives on teaching & learning

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Presentation includes an introduction to Service-Learning; Strengths of Service-Learning, Outcomes & Strengths of Service-Learning and basics of creating a Service-Learning course syllabus

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  • The conversation about engagement in higher education has been focused in three areas: research (community-based, engaged research, teaching (service-learning or community-based teaching) and community partnerships.
  • Ecology of Education and Service-Learning: Perspectives on teaching & learning

    1. 1. Ecology of Education and Service-Learning Annie Mae Young, Quilts of Gee’s Bend, ca. 1975
    2. 2. Setting the Context <ul><li>Service-learning in the larger context </li></ul><ul><li>So what is “it” anyway ? </li></ul><ul><li>How might it work? </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Civic Engagement has grown as part of a larger story about higher education’s response to calls for relevance and questions about civic purposes. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Four milestones in last 20 years ~ Hollander, E & Meeropol, J. (2006) <ul><li>Mid to late 1980’s : “Era of Student Volunteerism” </li></ul><ul><li>Early 1990’s : “Rise of Service-Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Late 1990’s: “Birth of ‘the Engaged Campus’” </li></ul><ul><li>Early 2000’s: “Rapid Expansion of the Idea of ‘Engaged Campus' </li></ul>1996: Boyer's Scholarship of Engagement 1997-2002- Rapid expansion of S-L 1999- CC and ACE's President's Declaration 1984: COOL founded 1985: Campus Compact 1988: 225 Compact Members & 3 State Offices 1993: CNCS and AmeriCorps 1992: 52% Compact campuses offer credit for service related to course 1990: Wingspread Meetings 1997: 80% Compact campuses offering service-learning 2002: 28 State Compact Offices 2006: 91% Compact campuses offering service-learning 2002- Indicators of Engagement Project 2003- Raise Your Voice 2008: 34 State Compact Offices
    5. 5. Are we there yet? <ul><li>Not quite! </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive focus in “schooling and the classroom” to engage young people in democracy and public life. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflates two distinct things: “education” and “schooling” </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>“ Yet schools cannot educate in isolation. Equating education with schooling relieves the rest of society from the responsibility of taking part in the education of young people. It also misses the central issue because what happens in schools reflects what happens outside the classroom…Limiting education to schooling overlooks important assets for improving our educational systems and preparing young people to contribute to our democracy---our community and community institutions.” </li></ul><ul><li> ~ N. Longo, 2007 </li></ul>
    7. 7. An Ecology of Education <ul><li>Ecology- “Each living organism has an ongoing and continual relationship with every other element that makes up its environment. Thus, in our ecosystem, there is interdependence and interconnection between the many parts of the whole environment.” </li></ul>
    8. 8. An Ecology of Education <ul><li>Power in an ecological perspective on education: </li></ul><ul><li>Harry Boyte argues: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Shifts the focus from a scarcity model of limited resources to the creation of a civic culture with an abundance of civic resources…an ecological model of learning connects education with civic life. </li></ul>
    9. 9. An Ecology of Education <ul><li>“ A strategy needs to be developed that connects school and school system change to a process of democratic community change and development. The strategy should be directed toward tapping, integrating, mobilizing, and galvanizing the enormous untapped resources of communities, including colleges and universities, for the purpose of improving schooling and community life.” </li></ul><ul><li>~ Ira Harkavy </li></ul>
    10. 10. A Learning Web Who else educates?
    11. 11. A Learning Web What if U of Akron is NOT at the center? Subject or issue
    12. 12. Your Learning Web Where is your course or project? Subject or issue
    13. 13. How to connect education with civic life <ul><li>Commit to making change over longer periods of time </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Place a deliberate emphasis on comprehensive, relational, and public education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make learning relevant to people’s everyday lives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recognize the creative powers of diversity through public work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Utilize the talents and instincts of nonprofessionals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Foster reciprocal relationships </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Embrace flexibility and trust in the messiness of democracy. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. The good news… <ul><li>An ecological view of education that focuses on civic engagement and interdependence is the foundation of America’s public colleges. </li></ul>
    15. 15. What is service-learning? <ul><li>Service-learning is a form of experiential education characterized by all of the following: </li></ul><ul><li>student participation in an organized service activity </li></ul><ul><li>participation in service activities connected to specific learning outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>participation in service activities that meet identified community needs </li></ul><ul><li>structured time for student reflection and connection of the service experience to learning </li></ul><ul><li>( Abes, Jackson & Jones, 2002) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Where is service-learning? Recipient Service Provider Learning Beneficiary Focus Service-Learning Community Service Volunteerism Internship Field Education Furco, A. 1996. Service-Learning: A balanced approach to experimental education. In B. Taylor, (Ed.) Expanding Boundaries: Service and Learning. Corporation for National and Community Service.
    17. 17. Key Themes in Service-Learning <ul><li>Collaboration with the community (reciprocity) </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Active learning (meaningful work) </li></ul><ul><li>Development of a sense of caring </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of a sense of civic responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Ameliorate societal problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li> ( O’Grady, 2000 ) </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Models good practice through the emphasis on collaboration and reciprocity and the high value placed on caring and commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes reflective thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Increases self-knowledge, cognitive complexity, knowledge of diverse others and communities </li></ul><ul><li>Deepens commitments to the “common good” which seek a more just, equitable world </li></ul>Strengths of Service-Learning
    19. 19. <ul><li>“ Transformative potential” </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to connect subject matter with “real-life” experience: experiential learning </li></ul><ul><li>Personal development, critical thinking, sensitivity to diversity, and development of citizenship </li></ul><ul><li> (Eyler and Giles, 1999; Jones, 2002) </li></ul>Outcomes of Service-Learning
    20. 20. Information about outcomes research <ul><li>Eyler and Giles (1999) process spanned six years. </li></ul><ul><li>Two major studies: </li></ul><ul><li>Survey of 1500 college students from 20 institutions with interviews of 66 students from 7 institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews with 67 students active in service-learning from 6 institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>All results statistically significant of .05 level or higher </li></ul>
    21. 21. Major learning outcomes <ul><li>Stereotyping and Tolerance outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>More positive view of people with whom they work </li></ul><ul><li>Growing appreciation for difference: seeing similarities through differences </li></ul><ul><li>Increased capacity for tolerance </li></ul><ul><li>Related Program Characteristics : </li></ul><ul><li>Placement quality, reflection activity, application of service and subject matter, diversity </li></ul>
    22. 22. Major learning outcomes <ul><li>Personal Development outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Greater self-knowledge, spiritual growth, reward in helping others </li></ul><ul><li>Increased personal efficacy, increased relationship between service-learning and career skill development </li></ul><ul><li>Related Program Characteristics : </li></ul><ul><li>Placement quality, reflection activity, application of service and subject matter, diversity </li></ul>
    23. 23. Major learning outcomes <ul><li>Interpersonal Development outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Increased ability to work well with others </li></ul><ul><li>Increased leadership skills </li></ul><ul><li>Related Program Characteristics : </li></ul><ul><li>Placement quality where students are challenged and have appropriate opportunity to take responsibility over work </li></ul>
    24. 24. Major learning outcomes <ul><li>Community and College Connection outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Increased connectedness to community </li></ul><ul><li>Development of connectedness with peers </li></ul><ul><li>Increased closeness of faculty-student relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Related Program Characteristics : </li></ul><ul><li>Strong community voice, placement quality, reflection, and application </li></ul>
    25. 25. Service-learning design matters! <ul><li>High quality placements matching students’ interests and developmental readiness with opportunity for direct service </li></ul><ul><li>Application/Connection between course subject matter and issues raised by service experience </li></ul><ul><li>Structured reflection in the form of writing and discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse life experiences, view points, and ways of knowing are integral to design </li></ul><ul><li>Presence and validation of the wisdom of community voice </li></ul>
    26. 26. Feeling like this?
    27. 27. Developing Service-Learning Courses* <ul><li>Develop statement of goals, expectations, and responsibilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with community partner to determine the service activities students will perform. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop plan for how students will connect course content and service. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how you will prepare students for service (course goals, objectives, activities, pre-service training, assessment, etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>Develop evaluation strategies to assess student learning and community impact. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with community partner to make plan for sustaining partnership. </li></ul><ul><li>The Service-Learning Initiative at The Ohio State University </li></ul>
    28. 28. Types of courses and activities in service-learning <ul><li>The Service-Learning Initiative at The Ohio State University </li></ul>Course Type Description Discipline-Based Students have presence in community throughout term and participate in ongoing reflection to connect course objectives to service Project-Based Students use knowledge gained from course to work on a community problem or need. Project not likely to be repeated in future. Service Type Description Direct Work with others, person-to-person and face-to-face Indirect Work on project impacting community as a whole, rather than individually.
    29. 29. Service-Learning Syllabi Construction* <ul><li>Course Heading : Includes all course and faculty info </li></ul><ul><li>Course Description : Include non-traditional nature of course as well as connection between service and course content. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction : Overview, purpose, rationale. Goes more in-depth with service description </li></ul><ul><li>Course goals and objectives : Goals are broad statements of learning outcomes. Objectives are measurable actions to realize goal. </li></ul>*Kerrissa Heffernan (2001). Fundamentals of Service-Learning Course Construction. Campus Compact
    30. 30. Service-Learning Syllabi Construction* <ul><li>Course Content : Readings and texts AS WELL AS service placement goals. Consider service as text. </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of course assignments : Consider range of assignments that also integrate reflective learning </li></ul><ul><li>Overview of grading policy : Has student demonstrated outcomes that “flow from service.” Not to be graded for doing service in and of itself. Be clear about who is evaluating students’ community work. </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental reading list : Promotes further exploration of issues explored through service </li></ul>
    31. 31. A word about reflection in syllabi…. <ul><li>Syllabus should list requirement for reflection component. </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations about reflection should be woven throughout. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions to prompt reflection and included in syllabus can enhance clarity about reflection expectations and prompt more critical reading practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Structure for reflection and evaluation strategies for reflection are helpful to include. </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>For more information: </li></ul><ul><li>Ohio Campus Compact </li></ul><ul><li>www.ohiocampuscompact.org </li></ul><ul><li>740-587-8568 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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