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From Definitions, History, Theory, Principles, Practice, and Partnerships to Social Justice, Critical Engagement and Collaboration, and Uneasy Institutionalization.

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Presentation on theme: "From Definitions, History, Theory, Principles, Practice, and Partnerships to Social Justice, Critical Engagement and Collaboration, and Uneasy Institutionalization."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Definitions, History, Theory, Principles, Practice, and Partnerships to Social Justice, Critical Engagement and Collaboration, and Uneasy Institutionalization

2  1. 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 community.   2. Community-Based Learning is similar to service learning but with two important caveats.  A. Community Based Learning includes Research and promotes various forms of Community Based Research (CBR) ranging from consultant-type relationships to Participatory Action research (PAR).  B. A greater focus on collaborative partnerships and integrated learning opportunities with community leadership. The community drives project selection and participates in course design, evaluation, etc. Community-Based Learning is a form of intellectual and practical engagement [Praxis] in which students, faculty, service providers, service recipients, and a vast array of community members work to fulfill immediate needs while trying to develop the knowledge and strategy necessary to understand and address the root causes of social problems.

3 Hull House vs. The University of Chicago Jane Addams and Florence Kelley’s book, Hull House Maps and Papers, set precedents for the use of mapping as a statistical technique to reveal patterns of social groups; emphasis on the city as a major factor structuring daily lives; the analysis of immigrant groups and their disorganization in the city, primarily as a function of debilitating economic conditions; and a directly linked the work of Hull-House residents and sociologists at Chicago (Mary Jo Deegan, 1988) “there were occasional rumblings about the old maids downtown who were wet-nursing social reformers...the greatest damage done to the City of Chicago was not the product of corrupt politicians or criminals but the women reformers.”

4 * John Dewey and Guided Reflection * Jane Addams--community based learning and research Educated young people are seeking an outlet for that sentiment of universal brotherhood, which the best spirit of our times is forcing from an emotion into a motive.” They feel a fatal want of harmony between their theory and their lives, a lack of coordination between thought and action… These young men and women, longing to socialize their democracy, are animated by certain hopes which may be thus loosely formulated; that if in a democratic country nothing can be permanently achieved save through the masses of the people, it will be impossible to establish a higher political life than the people themselves crave; that it is difficult to see how the notion of a higher civic life can be fostered save through common intercourse; that the blessings which we associate with a life of refinement and cultivation can be made universal and must be made universal if they are to be permanent; that the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

5 1. History of Experiential Education and various forms of religious education—particularly Quaker Schools—Labor Colleges, Highlander Folk School, etc. Myles Horton, Founder, Highlander Folk School “What you must do is go back, get a simple place, move in and you are there. The situation is there. You start with this and you let it grow. You know your goal. It will build its own structure and take on its own form. You can go to school your whole life and never figure it out because you are trying to get an answer that can only come from the people in the life situation.” Myles Horton, The Long Haul: An Autobiography, Teachers College Press, 1990. Myles Horton and Paulo Freire, We Make the Road by Walking, Temple University Press, 1990.

6 The Ironies of McCarthyism—the Rise of the 1960s A response to conservatism and the malaise of suburbia. A response to Isolation, and “en loco parentis” From Ella Baker to Chuck McDewFrom Rosa Parks to Bob Zellner. “The sit-ins have given us an opportunity for “the word to become flesh. They have inspired us to build a new image of ourselves in our own minds.” When we asked my sociology professor why we were expelled he said that he never intended for us to speak to civil rights activists, ‘I just wanted you to go to the library.”

7 1. 1970s and the movement from streets back to the classroom National Organizations and Conferences: a. National Society for Experiential Education (1971) b. Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (1974) c. National Center for Service Learning (1979) 2. Continued National Organizing of Groups and Conferences—1980s and 1990s a. Campus Outreach Opportunity League (1984) b. National Campus Compact (1985) c. Americorps and Corporation for National Service (1993) d. Renewing the Civic Mission of the American Research University (1999) The challenges facing higher education go beyond the need to add more service-learning experiences or to reward faculty for community-oriented research. As important as these objectives are, the more fundamental task is to renew our great mission as the agents of democracy.


9  "The scholarship of engagement means connecting the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic and ethical problems, to our children, to our schools, to our teachers and to our cities...“ discovery integration application teaching engagement



12 Dan Butin: “The possibilities for service-learning lie in embracing it as an academic discipline with the ability to control its knowledge production functions by internally debating and determining what issues are worthy of study, by what modes of inquiry, and to what ends. This approach assumes a plurality of perspectives of what service-learning is and should be. It assumes that the scholarship surrounding service-learning is not solely centripetal or convergent in focus.” Comparison to Women’s Studies and the impact of institutionalization Raymond Williams: There is a conservative and professionalizing force to institutionalization that suggests the formation takes precedence over the project. “But there remains the problem of forgetting the real project.” He continues to explain the political and practical issues related to the process of publishing and teaching around texts.

13 The definitions of such things as service and community based learning will be determined by the ways in which practitioners struggle with the historical trajectory, institutional and social conditions, and the political battles and objectives of partners and opponents. Mavis Morton, Corey Dolgon, Tim Maher and Jim Pennell, “Civic Engagement and Public Sociology: Two “Movements” in Search of a Mission.” Journal of Applied Social Science, Spring 2012.

14 Bob Sigmon’s 3 principles of service learning 1. Those being served control the service(s) provided 2. Those being served become better able to serve and be served 3. Those who serve also are learners and have control over what is expected to be learned From Charity and Reciprocity to Collaboration and Transformation

15 In traditional courses academic credit and grades are assigned based on students' demonstration of academic learning as measured by the instructor. It is no different in service-learning courses. In service-learning courses we evaluate students' learning from traditional resources, from the community service, and from the blending of the two.

16 Widespread perception in academic circles that community service is a "soft" learning resource, temptation is to compromise academic rigor in service-learning courses. But s-l students must not only master academic material, but also learn how to learn from unstructured and ill-structured community experiences, merging experiential learning with other course resources. Furthermore, while in traditional courses students must satisfy only academic learning objectives, in s-l courses students must satisfy both academic and civic learning objectives.

17 Most students lack experience with both extracting and making meaning from experience, and in merging it with other academic and civic course learning strategies; and they rarely know much about the history and diversity of the communities they engage. Therefore, even an exemplary reflection journal assignment will yield, without sufficient support, uneven responses. Faculty can provide: (1) Learning supports such as opportunities to acquire skills for learning from the service context ( e.g., participant-observer skills); (2) Examples of how to successfully complete assignments (e.g., past exemplary student papers and reflection journals, etc.; (3) Give students history tours, lectures, materials as well as diversity training and recognition of structural inequality.

18 John Reiff, Director, Office of Community Service Learning Commonwealth College, University of Massachusetts Amherst and former scholar-in-Residence for the Massachusetts Campus Compact




22 *Begin Process of Reflection in Class *Discuss Reflection and Action as ongoing process and the dynamic of Praxis * Consider ways to integrate partner into reflective process *Early Data on Learning Outcomes suggests more often and more substantive reflection the stronger the outcomes

23 Learning Outcomes & Community Impact Standard Measures—qualitative & quantitative New means for measuring local impact Unheard Voices and unethical data All Players should be heard who have stake in the projects and the assessment—returning to original principles of Bob Sigmon.


25 1. Partnerships form to serve a specific purpose, may take on new goals over time 2. Agreed upon mission, values, goals, & measurable outcomes for partnership. 3. Relationship has mutual trust, respect, genuineness, & commitment. 4. Builds on identified strengths & assets, but addresses areas for improvement. 5. Balances power among partners & enables resources to be shared. 6. There is clear, open communication—listening, common language, terms validated & clarified 7. Roles, norms, & processes for the partnership established collaboratively by the partners. 8. Feedback to, among, & from stakeholders to improve partnership & outcome. 9. Partners share the credit for the partnership's accomplishments. 10. Partnerships take time to develop and evolve over time.

26 1. Service 2. Exchange 3. Cooperative 4. Systemic/Transformative --------------------------------------------------------------- Hollander & Dolgon 3 Levels of Partnerships 1.Immediate or Transactional Projects 2.Sustainable Relationship 3.Transformative Strategies

27 Take just a minute or two and write down your definition or description of what social justice is or should be.

28 "The goal of social justice education is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society that is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure." Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook. Edited by Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, and Pat Griffin. “concepts of “fairness” and “equality” as the key components… respondents focused on the distribution of resources and fairness in the way society treats people. The concept of equality was referred to almost as much as fairness and often in conjunction with it. Most common were references to equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes. Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in the UK and Ireland, Social Justice is a set of principles and a process that govern humans’ behavior to one another and the natural world. Social justice is based on the premises that society is characterized by inequalities in resources and influence, and that individual and collective actions can and will transform society. Social justice promotes awareness of inequalities, action to redress inequalities, and ongoing habits of mind and actions that continue to redress inequalities. Social justice seeks transformation of society at global and local levels and the liberation of creation from every oppressive situation. Saint Mary’s College Bonner Foundation



31 Non-Profits and Service-Learning— Good! …but…

32  Non Profits– “the question of service has to be framed by critically engaging mission & purpose, methods & outcomes.” Community-Based Learning– “are our students being given a curriculum along with their projects that encourages historical and political and global perspectives on problems and their causes. Does it inspire the big questions of our students, their education, our community partners, policy makers, institutions and social structures as a whole.”

33 1. The complexity of the issues-the big picture of politics and economics and how these dynamics and conditions shape the problems and issues our projects address. 2. The complexity of the goal-what are our big picture hopes and dreams for our communities and societies. What kind of world do we want to live in and how might we get there? 3. What is Social Justice?

34 “As partners, we must think through together the relationship between theory and strategy; between practice and relationships, between reflection, evaluation, revision and fundamental change.”

35  1. All players must be willing to engage with each other and ask difficult questions and challenge conventions;  2. [For faculty] We have to be prepared to rethink our syllabi and rethink our research, how we teach and how we know;  3. [For Non-Profits] We need to rethink how we serve, what we serve, and with whom we serve.  4. We must all raise our standards and expectations for what we will accept from our students, our clients, our political and economic leaders, and ourselves.

36 Community Organization Strategies for Change Services/Research Community Goals Higher Ed. Goals Curriculum Project (Theory & Method) Campus Partnership

37 Community Organization—Dismas House

38 Campus Partner—Worcester State College SO305—Introduction to Community-Based Research WSC Center for Service learning and Civic Engagement “The mission of the Center is to challenge students and faculty to investigate social problems by examining their root causes in the classroom while simultaneously addressing them in the community”

39 Community Goals: 1. Increase Low-Income Housing 2. Decrease Local Nimby Campaigns

40 Service/Research & Project (theory, method, design & time) What will project entail and how will it meet community goals and learning outcomes (Reciprocity) 1. Meet with Partner to Determine Issues, Scope, Questions, etc. A. Nimby Claims: Property Values, Crime, Views of Neighborhood Quality B. Identify Neighborhoods and so-called “Saturation Points” C. What work will students do: 1. designing tools 2. explaining design and methods 3. Collecting data and analyzing data 4. Reporting to Community Organization

41 Strategies for Change & Curriculum Presentations and Reflections 1. Presenting Data to Community 2. Reflecting on Impact on Change 3. Evaluating Learning Outcomes and Limits 4. Developing New Projects, Strategies & Curriculum C orey Dolgon, chair of the Worcester State College Department of Sociology has been and activist and researcher on issues of homelessness and poverty for many years. Corey and his students conducted the department's "Mending Fences" study showing that group homes and social service agencies do not have a negative impact on Worcester's communities.

42 Community Organization Dismas House Strategies for Change Services/Research Publicizing findings and impacting local debate stats on prop. Values, crime & QOL perception Community Goals Higher Ed. Goals More Housing/Less Nimby Course Outcomes & Center Publicity Curriculum Project (Theory & Method) Evaluating learning outcomes statistical research & neighborhood survey Campus Partnership Worcester State (SO 305 and CSLCE)

43 1. Conversation with Dismas:  what were successes and limitations of the research? 2. Next steps: more research vs. changing political landscape. 3. Organizing and Registering Homeless voters 4. Candidates Night at PIP Shelter Worcester Telegram &Gazette [10-11-07] WORCESTER - A City Council candidates night at the People in Peril homeless shelter last night proved to be the largest forum by far in this year's election campaign, with organizers counting more than 140 people in attendance. Dr. Eric Garcia, who treats PIP shelter residents, asked the candidates whether they support the "Housing First" concept. Even Ms. Haller, a frequent critic of the social service agencies that espouse that concept of ensuring stable housing for people who need it regardless of their readiness to accept social programming, said that it "has merit."homeless shelter 5. Aftermath and Change--Permanent Housing &Housing First

44 Community Organization Dismas House Strategies for Change Services/Research Publicizing findings and impacting local debate stats on prop. Values, crime & QOL perception voter registration and organizing Experiences, Comparative & Qualitative Data Community Goals Higher Ed. Goals More Housing/Less Nimby Course Outcomes & Center Publicity Political Empowerment PAR versus Research for Order Curriculum Project (Theory & Method) Evaluating learning outcomes statistical research & neighborhood survey Research for service vs. research for change Interviews, focus groups, collaborative events Campus Partnership Worcester State (SO 305 and CSLCE)

45 1. What are your Goals? Short Term 1. Build Capacity for Service Learning a) faculty—development, resources, rewards & recognition. b) community—understanding learning outcomes and objectives c) students—training for community, diversity, inequality and experiential education and reflection B. Long Term 1. Powerful and rigorous learning for students 2. verifiable Community Impact 3. Educational transformation towards democracy and social justice

46  Faculty—course driven  Students—learning outcomes driven  Community Partners—project driven

47  Identifying Resources  Grants  Joining Regional, National and International Organizations  Public Relations and Endowments

48 Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Challenges

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