Making Meaning from Experiential Education: Reflection and Service-Learning. Jan Shoemaker Director, Louisiana State University Service-Learning Program [email protected] What is your experience with the community?. Your interaction with community? What did you learn from that?
How can we design reflective activities that most effectively accomplish the learning goals of our course?
Process by which students think critically about experience
Analyzing concepts, evaluating experience, postulating theory
Putting facts, ideas, experiences together to derive new meaningWhat is Reflection?
“A course-based credit bearing educational
experience in which students ….
Bringle and Hatcher 99
Pure Service Pure LearningReflection Connects Civic and Academic Goals
Critical thinking skills
Problem Solving skills
Learning how to learn ( active learning, application, collaboration,etc.)
Citizenship and social responsibility
Respect for diversity
Understanding root causes of social problems
Ethical issues connected with discipline
Howard 01Reflection Can Accomplish Academic and Civic Goals
1. Clearly link the service experiences to the course content and learning objectives.
2. Be structured in terms of description, expectations, and the criteria for assessing the activity.
3. Occur regularly during the semester so that students can practice reflection and develop the capacity to engage in deeper and broader reflection.
4. Provide feedback from the instructor about at least some of the reflection activities so that students learn how to improve their critical analysis and develop from reflective practice.
5. Include the opportunity for students to explore, clarify, and alter their values.
Drama class journal entry: What does your experience say about the role of drama in community? Does the play you wrote and produced for the school children shape the audience or does audience shape the play?
Biological Engineering: Students read Barbara Kingsolver essays on human effects on environment and related them to similar issues connected with playgrounds they designed and built.
Technical Writing: Students presented their grant proposal to representatives of their agency and a potential funding foundation.
The proposal won a $50, 000 grant to build a playground for the Children’s Development Center.
Projects and Activities: LSU ExampleArchitecture students get feedback from community members after creating a development plan and a web site for community organizations to facilitate community development and communication.
Bringle, Robert G. and Julie A. Hatcher. “Reflection in Service-Learning: Making Meaning of Experience.” Educational Horizons. Summer 1999. 179-185.
Campus Compact. www.cas.lsu.edu Click “Resources”
Eyler, Janet et.al. A Practitioner’s Guide to Reflection in Service-Learning. Nashville: Vanderbilt, 1996.
Howard, Jeffery. Ed. Service-learning Course Design Workbook. U. of Michigan: OCSL Press, 2001.
LSU Service-Learning Program.www.cas.lsu.eduClick “Service-Learning” and “Faculty Resources” for Faculty Manual and links.