It has been a great year of service and learning. Being provided with challenging work, professional training, valued friends & colleagues, and meaningful rewards, I could not ask for a better year of 'education.'
Imagine how coincidental that, in these last few days of my service, I get to attend a conference of specialists in educating, evaluating, and motivating the leaders of tomorrow? There is so much energy and inspiration! I want to be permanently involved with these people.
At the conference:
Robert Sigmon spoke briefly about his experience in Service Learning. He is truely an inspirational person who has greatly given credence in the Academy to the field.
Service-learning combines service objectives with learning objectives with the intent that the activity change both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge content.
service-LEARNING: learning goals primary, service outcomes secondary
SERVICE-learning: service outcomes primary, learning goals secondary
service learning: service and learning goals completely separate
SERVICE-LEARNING: service and learning goals of equal weight and each
enhances the other for all participants
I also attended a sessions talking about:
Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and Service Learning
NC Campus Compact Research and Scholarship Initiative: Pitfalls and Possibilities in Statewide Collaboration on Service Learning Scholarship
Both of these workshops provide me a solid platform to think about how we unite efforts at different institutions as well as to gain buy-in to service learning. I've heard by some that there are 'academic fads' that come and go, but I truely see this (service learning) becoming a mainstay in education and a change agent in tomorrow's society, not to mention how it already affects people nationwide.
The 'Cross Discipline Collaboration and Service Learning' workshop was presented by the APPLES program at UNC Chapel Hill, with presenters Jenny Huq, Martha Arnold, and Janaka Lagoo.
Through their workshop, they highlighted how they interest faculty in service learning and how they collaborate with their Center for Teaching and Learning. What I gained most from their presentation was how they draw resources from different parts of campus (Center for Teaching and Learing, Research and Assessment) and really push students in the forefront (APPLES was started by students)...as well as truely seek community collaboration and feedback.
The 'NC Campus Compact Research and Scholarship Initiative' was also very informative. Although initial phases are still underway, the presenters: Patti Clayton, Cathy Hamilton, Jenny Huq, Lynne Bercaw, Beth Warner, and Vicki Stocking provided a clear itinerary on how they are gaining ground for a statewide network of collaborators to refine the scholary pursuits around civic engagement and service learning. I hope to become involved in this effort.
I think I could go on for days on how these sessions have been refreshing to experience! I am definitely going to try and write more about my interest in service learning.
It's hard to believe that this year in service has passed so quickly, when I have only begun to scratch the surface....but I'm not done yet!