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Thinking about Service Learning
Service learning comes in many forms, from a single experience in a course, as with a Chemistry lab presentation for middle school children, to a semester-long effort, as in an internship with Amnesty International.
Faculty considering service learning projects thus have many options. Initial questions to consider include not only the practical matters (such as the number of sessions, time commitment, and logistical needs) but also the theoretical and pedagogical issues (such as how the experience will be integrated into the course, what preparation students will need, what reasonable goals can be achieved, and how fruitful reflection about the experience can be generated.)
How To Get Started
Think about your course’s learning objectives:
How might a community-based program enhance student comprehension and skill acquisition?
- Can students put a theory you are teaching into practice?
- Could students analyze a service experience through particular or competing theoretical lenses?
- Would students better understand the complexity of an issue by serving a particular population?
- Would skills the students learn be mastered by teaching others in the community?
- Would concepts you are covering in class be better understood through hands-on experience?
How will you structure the service learning experience?
- The project can be on-going throughout the semester or a one-time event during a particular part of the semester.
- You will need to think through the time commitment for the students and balance this with the other course requirements.
The Center for Chicago Programs has ready to organize transportation and other logistical matters for class-based service learning projects.
Contact Jennie Larsen, CAC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Development and Design
In addition to this web page, the Ethics Center has provided the library with materials related to service learning and community engagement. Faculty with questions about possibilities or design of service learning projects can begin there.
Contact Daw-Nay Evans, Director of EC: daevans@.lakeforest.edu
Connections to Off-Campus Organizations
Over the years, the College has developed connections with numerous groups and organizations in Lake County and the broader Chicago area. These connections may afford helpful starting points in a search for a meaningful service learning experience. Information is available through the Center for Career Advancement and the Center for Chicago Programs.
Contact Lisa Hinkley, Director of CAC: email@example.com
and Davis Schneiderman, Director of CCP: firstname.lastname@example.org