Service-Learning Foundations: Cycles of Action & Reflection Service-Learning Mini-Institute Lynn Pelco, PhD Associate Vice Provost for Community Engagement Division of Community Engagement Professor, School of Education firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting Started • Introductions of Institute presenters and attendees • Schedule for the day • 9:00-10:00 Service-Learning Foundations lecture • 10:00-11:00 Interdisciplinary discussion • 11:00-12:00 Service-Learning classes at VCU • 12:00-1:00 Lunch on your own • 1:00-4:00 Panel Presentation by SL Instructors • 4:00 Wrap up & evaluation • Daily evaluation
Goals for This Presentation • Define service-learning and differentiate it from other forms of community-engagement. • Overview the benefits of service-learning on student engagement & learning. • Review Cone & Harris’ (1996) Theoretical Framework for Service-Learning Practice • Explain the Standards for High-Quality Practice in Service-Learning (2008) • Review Rubin’s (2001) model for service-learning course development • Consider service-learning in terms of VCU’s new strategic plan, Quest for Distinction.
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
Service-Learning at Virginia Commonwealth University is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in a minimum of 20 hours (per student per semester) of an organized service activity that meets community-identified needs. Students reflect on the service activity to increase understanding and application of course content and to enhance a sense of civic responsibility
Service-Learning differs from volunteering and interning ♦ Service-learning differs from volunteering because it is imbedded within credit-bearing coursework and purposefully connects what students are learning in the classroom with community-based volunteer activities. ♦ Service-learning differs from traditional internships because it involves student learners in service activities that are designed to meet the most pressing and immediate social needs in the community. Community partners in service-learning classes identify the service activities for the class rather than these being formulated by the academic department or university instructor.
What are the differences between service-learning and other forms of experiential learning? Service-learning balances the needs of the service recipient with the needs of the service provider and focuses equally on both service and learning. Recipient BENEFICIARY Learner Service FOCUS Learning Service-Learning Community Service Field Education Volunteerism Internship
Different approaches to community work Service Outreach Engagement Degree of academic/intellectual influence and influence of partners L.R.Sandmann 2011
Service-Learning is a High-Impact Educational Experience Service-Learning--Improving Education and the Community ♦ Service-learning is identified as one of six high impact activities, based on National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) findings, that promote deep/integrative learning and personal development among both first-year students and seniors (Gonyea et al., 2008). ♦ In a study of over 2,300 college students, students in service-learning classes scored higher than nonservice-learning students on measures of academic development, career development, civic responsibility, and teamwork (Prentis & Robinson, 2010) . ♦ End–of-semester evaluation of VCU service-learning classes indicate that 93% of students felt more connected to the Richmond community, 90% believed the class made them more committed to finishing their university education, 88% felt the class helped them develop a personal code of ethics, and 87% would recommend that other students take the class (VCU Service-Learning Office, Spring 2011).
Theoretical Framework for Service-Learning Practice Cone & Harris (1996) Learners Pre-knowledge Attitudes Beliefs Values Definition of the Task Orient and Prepare Students for Service both Cognitively & Pragmatically Mediated Learning Instructor & TA as guides Vygotsky’s Scaffolding E X P E R I E N C E S Ongoing Critical Reflection Oral Written Direct student’s thinking in purposeful ways that facilitate achievement of the class learning objectives Learners with newly integrated concepts
Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice (NYLC 2008) Meaningful Service Service-learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities. Links to Curriculum Service-learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals Reflection Service-learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society Diversity Service-learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants Student Voice Service-learning provides students with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service-learning experiences with guidance from faculty and community partners Partnerships Service-learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs. Progress Monitoring Service-learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability Duration and Intensity Service-learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.
Service-Learning is Growing both Nationally and at VCU ♦ During the past decade, university student engagement in service-learning has grown steadily across the U.S., and university student community-based service now contributes approximately $7.96 billion volunteer hours to communities nationwide (Campus Compact, 2010). ♦ Since 2008 ◊ the number of graduate and undergraduate students enrolled each year in service-learning classes has increased 54%, from 1,789 to 2,761. ◊ the number of faculty members who teach service-learning classes each year has increased 51% from 21 to 41. ♦ The VCU School of Medicine and VCU School of Dentistry now require service-learning classes for all enrolled students as do the VCU Art Education Program, Gerontology Program, and Sports Leadership Program.
VCU Quest for Distinction 2011-2017 http://www.future.vcu.edu/ ♦ VCU’s new strategic plan was approved by the Board of Visitors on May 20, 2011. ♦ The plan focuses on four themes, and service-learning is specifically highlighted in 2 of these 4: ◊ Theme I.C: Engage students, the alumni of tomorrow, in high impact academic and extra-curricular experiences that expand learning, promote civil discourse, and engage students in self reflection and creative expression. ◊ Theme IV.A: Expand community engaged scholarship and service learning ♦ Metrics for gauging progress in these areas include increasing the “number of students participating in service-learning”.
Service-Learning Course Development Model (Rubin, 2001) 1. Define student learning outcomes 2. Define scholarship outcomes 4. Design the course 3. Plan community collaboration 5. Arrange logistics and create forms 6. Reflect, analyze, and deliver ‘products’ 7. Perform assessment and evaluation
Interdisciplinary DiscussionsVCU-Community Engagement--Service-Learning, Outreach, or Research? • Move into your assigned small groups • Individual Brainstorming (5 minutes) • Individually brainstorm as many VCU community engagement initiatives as you can. List any activity that connects VCU with community members (be inclusive). • Small Group Discussions (20 minutes) • Discuss your list with your small group members • Determine with your small group members whether each initiative can best be described as a service-learning, outreach, or scholarship activity • Large Group Discussion (25 minutes) • Select at least 4 initiatives from your small group to highlight to the large group • Present your 4 initiatives to the large group