Service Learning & Civic Engagement. Leah Sweetman , Ph.D. Saint Louis University Center for Service & Community Engagement Phone: 977-4105 Website: www.slu.edu/service Email address: [email protected] This Morning’s Plan. Purpose of Higher Education
Benjamin Franklin’s Democratic Vision of the “American University”: …nothing is of more importance to the public wealth, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and truth. Wise and good [people] are, in my opinion the strength of a state: much more so than riches or arms, which under the management of ignorance and wickedness, often draw on destruction…
Democracy can survive only as strong democracy, secured not by great leaders but by competent, responsible citizens… And citizens are certainly not born, but made as a consequence of civic education and political engagement in a free polity.
Benjamin Barber, Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age (1984)
How do we go from helping hands to voting hands?
Percentage of students who strongly agree that contributing to community “should be” a major focus of college and “is” a major focus of college, by year in school.
Source: Deyet. al. (2009)
If there is a crisis in education in the United States today, it is less that test scores have declined than it is that we have failed to provide the education for citizenship that is still the most significant responsibility of the nation’s schools and colleges.
Frank Newman, Higher Education and the American Resurgence, 1985
We cannot foster democratic habits and dispositions among our students unless we model democratic behavior in our partnering with the community, in the workings of our deliberative bodies (the student government and the faculty senate), in the way we research, teach, and learn.
Harkavy & Hartley, 2008, p. 17
Democracy Needs You!
Higher Education Needs You!
Familiarity with key democratic
texts and universal democratic principles, and with selected debates—in US and other societies—concerning their applications
Historical and sociological understanding of several democratic movements, both
US and abroad
Understanding one’s sources of identity and their influence on civic values, assumptions, and responsibilities to a wider public
Knowledge of the diverse cultures, histories, values, and contestations that have shaped US and other world societies
Exposure to multiple religious traditions and to alternative views about the relation between religion and government
Knowledge of the political systems that frame constitutional democracies and of political levers for influencing change
Respect for freedom and human dignity
Responsibility to a larger good
Integration of knowledge, skills,
and examined values to inform
actions taken in concert with other people
Moral discernment and behavior
Navigation of political systems
and processes, both formal
Public problem solving with
Compromise, civility, and
Critical inquiry, analysis, and
Gathering and evaluating
multiple sources of evidence
Seeking, engaging, and being
informed by multiple perspectives
Written, oral, and multi-media
Deliberation and bridge building
Collaborative decision making
Ability to communicate in multiple languages
A Crucible Moment, 2011
The distinctive element of service learning is that it enhances the community through the service provided, but it also has powerful learning consequences for the students or others participating in providing a service.
Service-LEARNING Learning goals primarily;
service outcome secondary
SERVICE-learning Service outcomes primary;
learning goals secondary
Service learning Service and learning goals
SERVICE-LEARNING Service and learning goals of equal
weight and each enhances the other
for all participants
Two common service-learning course models:
Project-Based Service-Learning Model
Students will draw from their knowledge to make recommendations to the community or develop a solution to a problem.
Discipline-Based Service-Learning Model
Students have an ongoing presence in the community and reflect on their experiences on a regular basis using the course content as the basis for their analysis.
Activity: What types of service experiences would be relevant to a course that you teach or plan to teach?
Using language specific to your discipline, design critical reflection questions and activities that will help you assess the Academic Enhancement, Civic Learning, and Personal Growth of your students.