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Civic Engagement

Butin: SL as "intellectual movement"

Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2011

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how excited I was to dig into Dan Butin's book Service Learning in theory and practice:  The future of community engagement in higher education.  I've just started the book this evening.   Even in the preface, Butin forces the reader to challenge what they know about service-learning.  He proposes that service-learning should find a disciplinary, academic "home" in the curriculum.  He suggests that service-learning as it exists now is a "social movement" but he believes we need to think about an academic home for service learning so that it becomes an

Recommended Reading - Checkoway

Posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Recently, WSU's Office of Service Learning offered a "coffee and conversation" on a Monday morning, during which those in attendance discussed the article, "Renewing the Civic Mission of the American Research University" by Barry Checkoway.  This article is a must-read for all in higher education, if you ask me!  It was published in The Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 27, No.

Service-learning junkie

Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Maybe that should be the name of my blog.  It's official.  I'm a service-learning junkie!  I signed up for a book discussion hosted by the WSU Center for Teaching and Learning in February, during which we'll discuss the book Service-Learning in theory and practice:  The future of community engagement in higher education by Dan W. Butin. That itself may not indicate that I'm a junkie, but the fact that I can't wait to dig into the book - maybe that confirms it!  And if that doesn't, then the fact that I was giddy when it was just dropped off at my desk - that does it for sure!

Service-Learning students build library in Chicago school

Posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2011

This article by Fran Smith did my heart some good!  Although quite a few service-learning projects were highlighted, the one that stands out to me involved some high school students who did far more than was asked of them.  When they discovered that their community partner school didn't have a library, they took matters into their own hands and built one! My favorite paragraph is this one: "Teachers encouraged the kids to think modestly -- collect old books, raise a few dollars to buy wood and brackets, and recruit parents to build shelves.

Citizenship never goes out of style

Posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

A few weeks ago I encountered my first service-learning naysayer in person.  I've read about these people before...those who think service-learning is a passing fad.  And I finally encountered one in person.  I wasn't adequately prepared to deal with it.  On my way home that day, it came to me - what I should have said.  "Citizenship never goes out of style."  I hardly believe service-learning a passing fad.  It has roots back to John Dewey in the early 1900s and his concept of "public education."  And there will certainly NOT be a shortage of community problems to solve anytime soon!