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Preparing Global Citizens Through Service-Learning

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  1. Preparing Global Citizens Through Service-Learning Lee Sternberger Executive Director, International Programs James Madison University Felix Wang Director, Study Abroad James Madison University Stephen Johnson Director, Study Abroad Old Dominion University

  2. Overview • Definition of Global Citizenship • Definition and Principles of Service-Learning • Special Characteristics of International Service-Learning • Setting Up an International Service-Learning Program • International Service-Learning in the Dominican Republic • International Service-Learning and Transformation • The Student Experience • Concluding Remarks and Questions

  3. Preparing Global Citizens Through Service-Learning • Lee Sternberger Executive Director, International Programs James Madison University sternblg@jmu.edu www.jmu.edu/international

  4. Global Citizenship Defined • Global citizenship is a non-traditional form of ‘citizenship’ that cannot be expressed in traditional legal, geographical or political terms • Global citizens engage in new ways of thinking and behaving, including the belief in their own self-efficacy to change the world • Global citizens understand that we live in an interdependent and interconnected but unequal world • Global citizens seek to create sustainable economic and environmental practices and systems worldwide

  5. Global Citizenship Defined • Global citizens value democracy, critical thinking, education, diversity, the environment, and personal and social responsibility • Global citizens abhor all forms of injustice • Global citizens recognize the power of technology and implement it in multiple forms for effective communication, information dissemination, and social change

  6. Mechanisms to Engender Global Citizenship • K through 16 education systems • Lifelong learning • The study of languages • Study abroad • Service-learning • Civic engagement within local and global communities

  7. Service-Learning Defined • Students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized experiences and interactions • Is conducted in and meets the needs of a community or agency • Is a coordinated engagement between an institution of higher education and the community • Helps foster civic responsibility • Is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the student • Includes structured time for the students to reflect on the interactive and learning experiences

  8. Service-Learning:Principles of Good Practice • Reciprocity—a partnership developed and defined by the host community/agency and the university • Allows those with community needs to define those needs themselves • Clear learning outcomes and well-defined connections between outcomes and community engagement

  9. Service-Learning:Principles of Good Practice • Mutually developed and defined roles and responsibilities for all involved • Flexible and appropriate time commitments for interactive engagement • Preparation by all for the service-learning experience • Integrated ongoing reflection including that upon returning home • Assessment protocol

  10. Preparing Global Citizens Through Service-Learning • Felix Wang Director, Study Abroad James Madison University wangch@jmu.edu

  11. Special Characteristics of International Service-Learning • Preparation for cultural understanding and appreciation, including pre-trip preparation, support during the experience, and cultural “re-entry” • Communication is more complex and time consuming • Additional language preparation and other requirements • The need for a “bridge person or organization” who knows the cultures of both the university and the international community and can interpret each • It takes time to build the relationships

  12. Setting Up an International Service-Learning Program • Goals and objectives (i.e., syllabus) • Planning trip • Identification of the right partner • Agreement on and understanding of the service • Student training and preparation

  13. International Service Learning in the Dominican Republic • Sponsor agency: One Respe • Community schools, health promotion and taller de artesania • Video clip

  14. Staff at One Respe and Taller de Artesania

  15. A Typical Day at School

  16. Excursions

  17. Preparing Global Citizens Through Service Learning • Stephen Johnson Director, Study Abroad Old Dominion University sjohnson@odu.edu

  18. International Service-Learning and Transformation • “It was in cross-cultural and international settings that I personally experienced and observed in my students the most profound changes, and thus was born my involvement in international service-learning.” (Kraft, 2002)

  19. International Service-Learning and Transformation • Student outcomes: • Enhanced sense of overall autonomy, interdependence within the student team, and the achievement of a “mature life-style plan” (Pyle, 1981) • Deeper and more comprehensive understanding of social issues, more complex problem-solving skills, a greater understanding of their own role as responsible citizens, and a recommitment to serving as agents of change locally and globally (Monard-Weissman, 2003)

  20. International Service-Learning and Transformation • Student outcomes: • “Perspective transformation” in the sense of an “emerging global consciousness” (Kiely, 2004) • The “Chameleon Complex” in which students experience a sense of frustration at being misunderstood and feeling forced to hide their new-found beliefs when returning home (Kiely, 2004) • Without appropriate preparation and reflection, “programs can easily become small theaters that recreate historic cultural misunderstandings and simplistic stereotypes and replay, on a more intimate scale, the huge disparities in income and opportunity” (Grusky, 2000)

  21. International Service-Learning and Transformation • As a global citizen, it was important for me to learn about the Dominican Republic and its citizens and to become an activist in order to help them progress, even if my efforts were small, baby steps. It is necessary to make the world a better place. … When I went to the school everyday to help teach the children, oftentimes I felt as if they were teaching me. … I will never forget this experience and the life lessons it has taught me. I will never take anything for granted again. Material possessions now seem low on the scale of ‘must haves’; what is important to me now is sharing and caring and loving.” • . “I believe that being a ‘global citizen’ means taking the ideals of being a good citizen in your own country and using them in another country to help make it a better place. As a global citizen you are extending community service and caring in your own community to other places in the world. … From an American perspective, being a global citizen would entail helping countries that are less fortunate than the United States. • .“From my experience, I have noticed that there are several differences between the American and Dominican idea of global citizenship. Primarily, I noticed that as Americans, our group wanted to just go in and try to fix things ourselves. We wanted to buy the children new clothes, toys and candy. … Especially in those last couple of weeks, our entire group was getting very anxious and really just wanted to get things done. I think that was our most American attribute and the cause of most of our frustration.

  22. International Service-Learning and Transformation • Poor in the U.S. and poor in the Dominican [sic] are two very different things. … In the first few days we all realized how deep the need for service was and how lacking One Respe was in addressing the issues of the community properly…. As for me, I feel that this experience has shown me how the ‘other half’ lives. I live in a typical suburbia – very different from the barrio of El Paraiso. … Every moment that I spent there will be forever etched into my brain. … It was hard, very hard, and I did complain, but I feel so satisfied with myself for being able to stick it out. … [T]he time I spent there … made me not only a better ‘global citizen,’ but also a better person.” • After meeting [students on] another study abroad program [in the DR] I realized that the [service learning] program was set up to give a more ‘hands-on” experience rather than an ‘observation’ experience. The other program, though study abroad, was more of a tourist trip. They saw the beauty of the Dominican Republic but they were sheltered from the poverty … The thing that astonished me most was the girl who was wearing Gucci sunglasses in this country. … I have gained a new perspective and respect for the people of the Dominican Republic.”

  23. Concluding Remarks • International service-learning provides: • Unparalleled opportunity to integrate classroom theory with real world application • The promotion of powerful learning and personal transformation • A mechanism to observe, engage with and learn from pressing social, political and economic needs within the larger global community

  24. Concluding Remarks • International service-learning provides: • An opportunity to develop the commitment to engage in social justice and public policy issues upon return home • An opportunity to change things in ourselves and our own culture that impact the rest of the world

  25. Questions?http://www.jmu.edu/international/docs/nafsa2007.pptQuestions?http://www.jmu.edu/international/docs/nafsa2007.ppt