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Framing a Theory-Grounded Research Agenda Related to COMMUNITIES Bob Bringle, Roger Reeb, & Laura Littlepage
IUPUI Series on Service Learning Research • Research on Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Assessment Vol 2A: Students & Faculty Vol 2B: Communities, Institutions, & Partnerships (Stylus 2013)
Focusing on theory “Bringle(2003) has advocated for theory from cognate areas to be clearly used as a basis of research. These could include theories from psychology about motivation, interpersonal relationships, and cognitive and moral development; from business about interorganizational relationships, leadership, and change management; from philosophy about value systems and decision-making; from political theory about individual and collective action; from history about social movements; from communication about conflict resolution.”
Focusing on theory “The theory or conceptual framework might precede the data collection, or it might emerge from or be modified based on data analysis and interpretation. Procedures for measuring quantitative or qualitative aspects of attributes do not stand alone, and their meaningfulness is often a function of how solidly they are situated in theory.”
Research on Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Assessment • I. STUDENTS • II. FACULTY • III. COMMUNITIES • IV. INSTITUTIONS • V. PARTNERSHIPS
Section: COMMUNITY • Community outcomes • Organizational capacity
Chapter template • Theoretical / conceptual frameworks • Critical review of past research • Measurement approaches and instruments • Implications for practice • Future research agenda • Recommended reading Lets do some of this same thinking together ….
Critical review of research to date: COMMUNITIES (+) (Δ) Participants? Authors?
Community Outcomes in Service Learning: Research and Practice From a Systems PerspectiveRoger N. Reeb and Susan F. FolgerUniversity of Daytonrreeb1@udayton.edu
Purpose of Presentation • To provide an overview of conclusions regarding research on community outcomes of service-learning; • To provide a brief critique of available research; • To describe a new conceptual model to guide engaged scholarship and service-learning; • To stimulate discussion and generate ideas for future development of the conceptual model.
Community Outcomes of Service-Learning • Community respondents report that: • Agencies are generally satisfied with students and their service; • Benefits of service-learning outweigh the costs; and • Service-learning projects facilitate campus-community partnerships. • A few studies reveal challenges from the perspective of community respondents, such as: • Difficulties concerning students’ schedules; • Short-term commitments from students; • Agency time/resources spent on training students; and • Lack of communication with university partners.
Brief Critique of Research on Community Outcomes of Service-Learning • Inferences were often based on general impressions of researchers, community respondents, or students. • In general, this research has: • Not been guided by theoretical frameworks; • Not addressed complex questions; • Not assessed key constructs; or • Not utilized sophisticated research designs
Conclusion • A question asked by Cruz and Giles (2000) 12 years ago is still relevant today: • “Where is the community in service-learning research?” • Cruz, N. L., & Giles, D. E. (2000). Where is the community in service-learning research? Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 7, 28-34.
Psycho-Ecological Systems Model of Community Action Research (PESM) • Principle of Reciprocal Determinism • Bandura, A. (1978). The self system in reciprocal determinism. American Psychologist, 33, 344-358. • Biopsychosocial Model • Kiesler, D. J. (2000). Beyond the disease model of mental disorders. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. • Ecological Systems Model • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1996). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. PESM integrates three theoretical developments:
Psycho-Ecological Systems Model of Community Action Research (PESM) Purpose of PESM : • PESM was developed to inform and guide community interventions, including those associated with engaged scholarship and service-learning.
Background Publications and Presentations on PESM • Publication: • Reeb, R. N., & Folger, S. F. (2013). Community outcomes in service learning: Research and practice from a systems theory perspective. In P.H. Clayton, R. G. Bringle, & J.A. Hatcher (Eds.). Research on Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Assessment (pp. 389-418). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. • Local Presentation: • Stander Symposium, University of Dayton, 2011 • Regional Presentation: • Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, 2011 • National Presentation: • American Psychological Association, 2011 • International Presentations: • IARSLCE, 2010, 2011 • International Symposium on Service-Learning, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China, 2011
Psycho-Ecological Systems Model (PESM) for Community Action Research
Principle of Reciprocal Determinism P = Person Factors E = Environmental Factors B = Behavior P B E
Biopsychosocial Model • Internal Factors: • Vulnerability Factors • Resiliency Factors • Developmental Factors • External Factors: • Risk Factors • Resource Protective Factors
The Different Ecological Systems of PESM Microsystem: “a pattern of activities, roles, and interpersonal relations experienced by the developing person in a given setting…”
The Different Ecological Systems of PESM Mesosystem: “a system of microsystems…” “it comprises the Interrelationships among two or more settings in which the developing person actively participates…”
The Different Ecological Systems of PESM Exosystem: “one or more settings that do not involve the developing person as an active participant, but in which events Occur that affect, or are affected by, what happens in the setting containing the developing person”
The Different Ecological Systems of PESM Macrosystem: “…overarching practices, beliefs, changes, and movements at broader levels (community, society, culture, government) that function as blueprints for action…”
The Different Ecological Systems of PESM Supra-Macrosystem: “…international or global influences, such as internationally- endorsed values (e.g., Millennium Development Goals)…”
Major Implications of PESM • Participatory approach • Multidisciplinary projects • Multidimensional assessment of community outcomes • Projects that enhance resiliency and resources in the community • Projects that reduce vulnerability and risk factors in the community • “Psychopolitical Validity” (Prilleltensky, 2008): • Enhance agency in community members and groups • Beyond ameliorative efforts, perhaps contributing to structural change • Prilleltensky, I. (2008). The role of power in wellness, oppression, and liberation: The promise of psychopolitical validity. Journal of Community Psychology, 36, 116-136.
EXAMINING SERVICE LEARNING FROM THEPERSPECTIVE OF COMMUNITYORGANIZATION CAPACITYLaura LittlepageIndiana University Public Policy InstituteBeth GazleySchool of Public and Environmental AffairsIndiana University
IUPUI SERIES ON SERVICE LEARNING RESEARCH Reciprocity in Service Learning • Students: expected to acquire new skills and learn more effectively through ability to apply and test classroom knowledge in real settings. • Instructors: expected to teach more effectively by extending the opportunities for their students to learn. • Host agencies: expected to operate more effectively with additional volunteer labor and expertise. • Communities: gain from pro-social student behavior, greater community social capital, stronger town-gown relationships, more volunteerism.
Gaps in Research • Challenges (versus benefits) of service learning • Impact on host agencies • ASSUMPTION: • REALITY: “Win-win” situation McIntyre, Webb & Hite, Marketing Education Review, 2005 “Working with service learners has the potential to be more painful and more beneficial than working with [other] volunteers” Barry Lessow, CEO, Monroe County United Way
Benefits and Challenges of the Service Learning Experience • Benefits • Professional experience • Stronger grasp of subject matter • Understanding of social needs • Civic engagement • Personal efficacy • Critical thinking skills • Challenges • Managing time commitment • New learning environment • Expectation of professionalism Student • Benefits • Pedagogical excellence • Bridge building & town-gown links • Student preparation & placement • Living lab for research • Scholarly publications • Applied research support • Benefits • Improved client services • Volunteer labor • Town-gown links • Networking • New expertise, technologies & research • Resources • Agency visibility Community Campus • Challenges • Scheduling • Resources • Time & oversight required to maintain relationships • Staff’s ability to develop meaningful projects • Mentoring and supervision • Challenges • Management capacity • Operational capacity • Pedagogical demands
Theoretical Lens: Volunteer Management Capacity (Hager and Brudney, Urban Institute, 2004) • Addresses the capacity of nonprofits to work with volunteers • Identifies effective volunteer management practices • Identifies unmet managerial needs • Helps to explain agency capacity to take on more volunteers • “Capacity” = managerial practices that support volunteer involvement
Suggested Interventions and Programs • Agency actions • Campus and/or faculty actions
Recommendations for Future Research • How do agencies view and how prepared are they for, and what are their attitudes toward, service-learners as volunteers, especially as they compare to attitudes toward other types of volunteers? • How can funding, training and professional development, and other volunteer management capacity resources be leveraged to increase an agency’s likelihood of involving service-learners in its operations? • Is service learner participation distributed equitably across the nonprofit sector, or rather concentrated among certain agencies according to certain organizational characteristics (e.g., mission, size, management capacity)?