Presentation on theme: "CHRIS SWEET ILLINOIS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY LOEX ANNUAL CONFERENCE COLUMBUS, OH 5/4/2012 The Role of Information Literacy in Service Learning Courses: A Case."— Presentation transcript:
CHRIS SWEET ILLINOIS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY LOEX ANNUAL CONFERENCE COLUMBUS, OH 5/4/2012 The Role of Information Literacy in Service Learning Courses: A Case Study and Best Practices
Service Learning Experiences? How many are aware of service-learning courses on your campus? Of these, do you know of any that seek library support? Of these, who has personally worked with a service- learning course? If you were in an elevator for 1 minute with a faculty member who teaches a service-learning course could you make a good case for integrating information literacy?
Where were headed Defining Service-Learning History of Service-Learning in Higher Education Pedagogical and Theoretical Foundations Service-Learning and Information Literacy Environmental Studies Seminar Case Study Emerging Best Practices Final Thoughts and Questions
Definitions A 1990 review of the service-learning literature found 147 different terms and definitions related to service-learning (Kendall, 1990). 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. (National Service-Learning Clearinghouse)
Definitions The basic principle: Service, combined with learning, adds value to each and transforms both (Honnet & Poulsen, 1996). My contention: Service-Learning, combined with information literacy, adds value to each and transforms both. Alternative terms: action research, community-based learning Service-learning is not: an internship, community service, or volunteerism
An Example Cleaning up a riverbank is SERVICE Sitting in a science classroom looking at water samples under a microscope is LEARNING Science students taking samples from local water sources, then analyzing the samples, documenting the results and presenting the scientific information to a pollution control agency is SERVICE- LEARNING (National Youth Leadership Council)
Characteristics of Service-Learning Connects with and reinforces the academic subject material of a course Addresses a problem or contributes to the betterment of the local community or a specific group Demonstrates reciprocity between students and groups being served Teaches civic and social responsibility Requires critical reflection and analysis from students
Brief History of Service-Learning and Educational Reform Movements Understanding these contexts is essential if you are advocating for service-learning 1960s: social turmoil, activism, civil rights, formation of Peace Corps and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) 1970s: Freires Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Natl student volunteer program 1980s: A Nation at Risk, formation of Campus Compact, Wingspread Conference
Brief History of Service-Learning and Educational Reform Movements 1999:Wingspread Declaration of Renewing the Civic Mission of the American Research University 2008: Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) releases a report on High- Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter.
Pedagogical and Theoretical Foundations Service-learning relies heavily on constructivist educational theories. Constructivist theorists contend that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences Experiential / active learning are common constructivist pedagogies.
The Other Dewey John Dewey (1859-1952) is generally recognized as the founding father of constructivism. Deweys educational philosophy is largely based on three principles: Education must lead to personal growth Education must contribute to humane conditions Education must engage citizens in association with one another (Hatcher, 1997)
Pedagogical and Theoretical Foundations Paulo Freire (1921-1997) Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970) Education should develop Critical Consciousness- the ability to perceive social, political, and economic oppression and to take action against the oppressive elements of society. Power Awareness (understanding social history) Critical literacy (analytically reading, writing and discussing social matters) Desocialization (examining the internalized myths and values of mass culture) Self-education (taking initiative in ongoing social change)
Service-Learning and Information Literacy Wheres the Library in Service Learning? John Riddle, 2003. ALA Information Literacy Definition IFLA Alexandria Proclamation
Service-Learning and Information Literacy Wheres the Learning in Service-Learning? Eyler and Giles, 1999. National survey of 1500 students in service-learning classes. Conclusions related to Info Lit: Service Learning students talked more about the need to gather information and define issues regarding community problem solving Service learning students are better able to apply subject concepts, authorities, and information to new problems (Riddle, 2003, p. 73).
Service-Learning and Information Literacy 2011 ACRL strategic plan: ACRL Plan for Excellence Librarians transform student learning, pedagogy, and instructional practices through creative and innovative collaborations Library support of service-learning courses is one way to do this Embedded librarianship is another important trend among instruction librarians The simplest reason for combining service-learning and information literacy is to assist students with understanding the why and how behind a service- learning project.
Libraries and Service-Learning In 1907 at the Illinois Library School at the University of Illinois in Champaign, upper-level students could add a month of fieldwork in a public library to their coursework. (Roy & Sheldon, 1998). Service-learning courses have been incorporated into many LIS programs In the last 15 years, service-learning has been a major trend in education at all levels, but library support for these courses has been sporadic at best
Questions? Any brief questions before the case study?
Case Study Illinois Wesleyan University: private, liberal arts, 2100 students CFP: Teagle Foundation Teaching Grants Environmental Studies Senior Seminar already met criteria for 4 of 10 high-impact practices: service- learning, writing-intensive, undergraduate research and capstone courses.
Case Study ENST Senior Seminar: Creating a Sustainable Society Course Description Major course goal: show students that they could make a real contribution towards sustainability in their own communities
Case Study Fully embedded as a co-teacher Shared responsibilities for grading, leading class sessions, meeting with students, coordinating with community partners Students must work collaboratively with a community partner on their projects Requires a full literature review to provide context for each project Project Examples LINK cards at farmers markets Improving Inclusion of Minorities in local Environmental Work Bringing Back Endangered Barn Owls Establishing a Campus Eco-House Documenting the environmental benefits of roadside prairies
My Conclusions The single most meaningful teaching experience in my career as an academic librarian Service-learning is one of the most effective methods for teaching students information literacy skills and concepts Models how information literacy is used outside academia Co-Teaching (or lead teaching) can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial What about scalability and sustainability?!
Student Evaluations What did your experience conducting research and working on a real world problem teach you? I learned that it is quite enjoyable researching a topic youre passionate about. This was my first opportunity to do so in such depth. I also learned what a difference one person can make in making something happen. What is the most significant outcome youve gained from this course? I am proud that I actually did something meaningful instead of another seemingly pointless class project.
Student Evaluations How do you feel the class benefitted from having the perspectives of two instructors? Each instructor has different expertise and can help with different issues. For such a research-intensive course, it makes sense to have a librarians help. Is there anything else you would like your course instructors to know? I strongly recommend that two instructors be used again. It really helps out with the research component.
Emerging Best Practices for Library Support of Service-Learning Courses Be able to situate both service-learning and information literacy within pedagogical theory and higher education reform movements When appropriate be able to tie service-learning to institutional and library mission statements and/or strategic plans Identify existing information literacy elements in service- learning courses and explain how they could be strengthened through collaboration with the library Focus on information literacys ability to strengthen the contextualizing and reflection portions of service- learning courses
Emerging Best Practices for Library Support of Service-Learning Courses Know your campus organizations and faculty that are involved in service-learning Know your local social service organizations and their needs Monitor listservs that focus on service-learning such as those maintained by Campus Compact and the National Service- Learning Clearinghouse Collaborative, embedded librarian models are one of the best ways to support service-learning, but one-shot research instruction sessions can also be of benefit to service-learning courses Librarian-led courses –particularly information literacy courses- can also benefit when structured around a service- learning model
Final Thoughts Information Literacy and Reflective Pedagogical Praxis Heidi Jacobs, 2008 What I am suggesting is that the dialogues we have surrounding information literacy instruction strive to find a balance in the daily and the visionary, the local and the global, the practices and the theories, the ideal and the possible p. 258. Combining service-learning and information literacy is one way to resolve these dualisms.
Final Thoughts Service-Learning, combined with information literacy, adds value to each and transforms both. Service-learning is challenging for both students and instructors, but it is not an educational fad. To the contrary, it may be one of the best ways to return to a system of education that engages students in the learning process and strengthens civic ties to local communities.
Forthcoming Book Chapter Information Literacy and Service-Learning: Creating Powerful Synergies Forthcoming in: Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis, Library Juice Press, Fall 2012 Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
Bibliography Eyler, J., & Giles, D. E., Jr. (1999). Where's the learning in service-learning? jossey-bass higher and adult education series Hatcher, J. A. (1997). The moral dimensions of john dewey's philosophy: Implications for undergraduate education. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 4, 22-29. Honnet, E., & Poulsen, S. (1996). Principles of good practice for combining service and learning. Johnson Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.nationalserviceresources.org/files/Principles-of-Good-Practice-for- Combining-Service-and-Learning.pdf http://www.nationalserviceresources.org/files/Principles-of-Good-Practice-for- Combining-Service-and-Learning.pdf Jacobs, H. L. M. (2008). Information literacy and reflective pedagogical praxis. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34(3), 256-262. Kendall, J. C., National Society for Internships and Experiential Education (U.S.), Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, & Charles F. Kettering Foundation. (1990). Combining service and learning : A resource book for community and public service. Raleigh, N.C: National Society for Internships and Experiential Education.
Bibliography Kolb, D. (1981). Learning styles and disciplinary differences. In A. W. Chickering (Ed.), The modern american college (pp. 232). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kuh, G. D., & Schneider, C. G. (2008). High-impact educational practices : What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter Washington, DC : Association of American Colleges and Universities, c2008. Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone : The collapse and revival of american community / robert D. putnam New York : Simon & Schuster, c2000. Riddle, J. S. (2003). Wheres the library in service learning?: Models for engaged library instruction. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 29(2), 71-81. Roy, L., & Sheldon, B. E. (1998). Library and information studies education in the united states. London ; Washington, D.C: Mansell.