We made it! Our students learned some crucial information literacy skills, helped solve a community problem (illiteracy) and turned in a pretty solid research portfolio to Project READ. Yesterday, we met one final time this quarter to reflect as a group, along with Becky Garvin, Director of Project READ and Cathy Sayer, Director of Service-Learning at Wright State University. In preparation for this reflection, the students write responses to 4 or 5 reflection prompts. Then we discuss as a group what they have learned about information literacy, about themselves and about their communit
Earlier this week, I attended a book discussion about Dan Butin's book "Service-Learning in theory and practice: The future of community engagement in higher education." One of the main arguments Butin makes is that service-learning should have a discipline-based home in the academy. He compares it to how feminism, which began as a social movement, became women's studies within the academy. Of course, this leads to hundreds of questions. What would this look like? Would the focus be on citizenship in our democracy? or community studies?
We're down to four students. Three of our students dropped the course. My co-teacher and I are disappointed by that, but we also have no control over that. The good thing is that now all four students are one team, working towards making the best research portfolio they can create for Project READ. Do they complain?
The quarter is drawing to a close so quickly, and we still have a lot of work left to do for Project READ.
Any readers out there from Michigan? If so - mark your calendars for the upcoming Academic Libraries 2012: Advancing Value Michigan Library Association Academic Libraries Annual Conference May 10-11, 2012 in Ann Arbor. I recently received confirmation that I will be co-presenting along with Suzanne Gray, Information Literacy Librarian at Eastern Michigan University, and Shannon Zoet, Assistant Director of Campus Partnerships at Michigan Campus Compact, about service-learning and information literacy.
During Week 4, we covered searching the catalog for books. We sent the students to the stacks. Many hadn't realized there would actually be books written about the topic we're researching. We also focused on how to cite in APA style so they could complete their homework for class 5 - to find and cite three books (or at least chapters).
I just put this new report released by the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement on my reading list (which is growing ever-longer!): A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future. Get more information here.
Lately, I've been feeling a little frustrated with myself as an instructor. I'm always changing the game plan, never happy with what I have planned. My co-teacher and I are constantly reinventing our lesson plans and our class. It takes a lot of time. And, frankly, sometimes I wonder why we haven't figured this out yet - this is the sixth time we have taught this course. Why aren't we on auto pilot? Then, I realized that all of this reflection and reinvention is a good thing. I remember reading The Reflective Practioner by Donald A.