Presentation on theme: "Service Learning through Community Inquiry: A Campus-Community Partnership Robin Ringstad Valerie Leyva John Garcia Kelvin Jasek-Rysdahl California State."— Presentation transcript:
Service Learning through Community Inquiry: A Campus-Community Partnership Robin Ringstad Valerie Leyva John Garcia Kelvin Jasek-Rysdahl California State University, Stanislaus
Pressing Issue (Homelessness) How would you go about understanding this issue? Who would you involve to help you understand? How might you involve students in looking at this issue?
Purpose of Inquiry “forge a more direct link between intellectual knowledge and moment- to-moment personal and social action, so that inquiry contributes directly to the flourishing of human persons, (and) their communities …” (Reason 2005)
University or Community Centered Paradigm Decisions Research Paradigms Service- Learning Paradigms Assessment Paradigms
University Centered Research People come to University and ask experts to conduct research about some topic they want information about. The university experts take the concern (and maybe the research questions) and develop a research agenda. These experts conduct research and provide a report to the group who contacted them. Ideally the research will result in publication or presentation in an academic setting.
Community Inquiry Research People come to University and ask experts to conduct research about some issue. The University experts get involved as a partner in the research process. A dialogue begins to identify those most closely connected to the issue as potential co-researchers. The research project is controlled by the co- researchers. Results create ACTION to address the issue and may be presented or published.
Our Project The community was divided about a proposal to build a homeless shelter in the community. Group of City Staff came to the University looking for experts to study the issue and provide recommendations. We decided to use a community inquiry paradigm that relied on community members to be co-researchers.
Community co-researchers Co-researchers are those persons in the community who are most impacted by and intimately connected with an issue. These people are invited to join university personnel as co-researchers to examine the issues and develop strategies to address them.
The people who joined us as co-researchers were… Business owners Individuals who were homeless Representatives of organizations that provided services to the homeless Faith based Government Non-profit City staff members People from the University
What did this mean for Service Learning? To some degree we started our Service Learning projects “backwards”. We knew the co-researchers (community) needed help to complete many of their desired activities and methodologies. We knew we had students who would likely be interested. We developed strategies to allow students to actively assist the community via activities that related to course content.
University Centered Service-Learning Service-learning is often developed when an Instructor looks for an activity in the community that students in a class can become involved in. An assignment is designed to meet the learning objectives of the class while providing some type of service in the community. The project is frequently time-limited in that it occurs during a specific course time-line.
Community Centered Service-Learning University looks to community for partners and learns about needs. Service learning project is developed in partnership based on a community need. Student assignments and activities are created to meet the community need. The assignments and activities serve students within specific courses, but also include on- going, long-term interaction, investment, and engagement with the Community.
Service-Learning Activities During our project students were engaged: 1)as of each of the Co-researcher Groups. 1)as members of each of the Co-researcher Groups. 2)as to help Co-researcher Groups carry out their various methodologies. 2)as data collectors to help Co-researcher Groups carry out their various methodologies. 3)as to conduct literature reviews in response to Co-researcher Groups’ requests for information. 3)as consultants to conduct literature reviews in response to Co-researcher Groups’ requests for information. 4)as research to collate and protect research materials. 4)as research coordinators and data managers to collate and protect research materials. 5)as to analyze statistical data to assist Co-researcher Groups. 5)as support persons to analyze statistical data to assist Co-researcher Groups.
Service-Learning Activities, con’t. After the project they remained involved with the issues: 6)as to provide long-term follow-up support to the community by conducting additional research that Groups were unable to complete. 6)as researchers to provide long-term follow-up support to the community by conducting additional research that Groups were unable to complete. 7)as to continue to raise awareness and push for action in the community. 7)as activists to continue to raise awareness and push for action in the community.
What do we think about Assessment? We rarely think about different ways of Assessment. For our project, we needed Assessment of: Research Student Learning
University Centered Assessment Faculty member: Provides evidence of outcomes to the university audience (programs, accrediting bodies, funders, etc.). Develops quantifiable learning outcomes and assignments. Implements activities and assesses student learning. Collects student learning outcome data. Accountability Report ULTIMATE: Publish & Present
University Centered Assessment of Service Learning (we did this) Activities 30 graduate students and 2 undergraduate students completed over 400 hours of direct community service 10 MSW students have remained involved, completing master’s theses on elements of the project Outcomes Student class work showed evidence of learning on relevant course objectives data analysis, research methodology, ethics of research, management skills, policy analysis, collaborative practice, etc. Course evaluation ratings improved in each of the classes engaged in the project
University Centered Assessment of Student Learning Students developed an understanding of the complexity of social problems. Students developed skills for communicating effectively with diverse groups. Students became civically involved in the local community. Students had insights and changes in stereotypical views about various constituency groups. Students developed an in-depth interest and passion about various parts of the project.
University Centered Assessment of Research project (we did this) Activities 45 individual interviews to form groups 168 hours of co-researcher group meetings 37 individual interviews with homeless individuals Surveys of 191 business owners Comparison with 23 California cities Analysis of existing data from 8 community sources Outcomes Final report to City Community forum to discuss findings Newspaper interviews/articles Development of community Implementation Task Group Establishment of on-going Steering Group for Homeless Services
Community Inquiry (Community Centered) Assessment Faculty and stakeholders: Provide evidence of outcomes to stakeholders (co-researchers, community, university). Develop assignments and learning objectives that respond to community need. Engage students in activities that meet community need. Develop strategies that assess impact on students and community. Assessment Partnership ULTIMATE: ACTION
Community Centered Impacts: Community Co-researchers became much more informed about the complexity of the issues surrounding homelessness. City government officials gained insight into community needs and concerns. Co-researchers were empowered to participate in local government and civic action. Decrease in overt dissention among various stakeholders. On-going and collaborative commitment to community action.
Community Centered Impacts: Faculty Deepened our understanding of the issue, the people impacted by it, and the barriers to addressing it. Increased our commitment to PAR as a way to empower individuals and groups and as a way to create and stimulate social action. Changed our understanding of ways to engage students in service-learning activities with the community in ways that are congruent with community needs and interests. Changed the ways we teach and learn, and the ways we engage in teaching and learning with our students. Validated our belief that the true on peoples lives are the people who live those lives. Validated our belief that the true ‘Experts’ on peoples lives are the people who live those lives.