Role within service-learning: Service-Learning Fellow and Faculty Member in the Foundation Year Program for English
Did you find service-learning or did service-learning find you?
I have always incorporated days of service into my courses, as I’ve discovered that my students become their best versions of themselves when they are untethered from the classroom and engaging in the world with populations, causes, projects, and passions they care about. Service-Learning has just now entered my thinking due to my new relationship with the Center of Community Service and the fabulous people there who are helping me think differently about embedding service meaningfully within my courses.
What is one thing everyone should know about service-learning?
Learning can happen anywhere, but for many of my students (whom–for many reasons–may have felt more embattled by formal education than embraced by it), learning happens more deeply and more naturally outside the classroom. When students make observations, formulate questions, participate in inquiry, and construct meaning of their work in the community, it enhances and enriches the work we do together in the classroom.
How are your values expressed through your community engagement and service-learning work?
Institutions of higher learning are slowly breaking down the barriers and the assumptions that once reinforced that only good, pure, and meaningful work happens within the boundaries of the campus. Those outside those boundaries were thought to have less–less voice, less skills, less knowledge, and less impact. Of course, this is incorrect, and the college and the community exist, in some ways, for one another and must be equal partners. Community engagement and service-learning provide exciting, thoughtful, and rigorous ways that bring these partners together. What’s not to love?!