Learning through Serving: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning Across the Disciplines

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9781579221195: Learning through Serving: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning Across the Disciplines
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· A student-friendly, self-directed guide to service-learning

· Develops the skills needed to succeed

· Clearly links service-learning to the learning goals of the course

· Combines self-study and peer-study workbook formats with activities that can be incorporated in class,
to give teachers maximum flexibility in structuring their service-learning courses

· Promotes independent and collaborative learning

· Equally suitable for courses of a few weeks’ or a few months’ duration

· Shows students how to assess progress and communicate end-results

· Low priced–the ideal companion to disciplinary course readings

· Methodology and activities extensively tested at Portland State University

· Written for students participating in service-learning as a class, but also suitable for students working individually on a project

This book is intended as a self-directed guide for college-level students who are engaged in service-learning. Though addressed principally to students participating in service-learning as a class, it is also suitable for students working individually.

The authors’ goals are to enable the reader to derive the greatest benefit from the experience – in terms of providing meaningful service to the community partner, developing his or her skills and knowledge, and connecting back what she or he learns to course objectives and the framework of their discipline.

Service-learning requires students to take on new roles and to pursue learning in ways fundamentally different from traditional courses. This book begins by setting the context, explaining the differences between service and volunteerism and linking service-learning to the larger issues of citizenship and democracy. It then provides activities, exercises and other resources to develop students’ skills of reflection, teamwork and cultural competence; and to help them plan, work with community partners, exercise leadership and manage change. The authors provide a framework for students to assess their progress and communicate final results to all stakeholders.

By linking service-learning to the learning goals of the student’s course, this workbook constitutes the ideal companion to disciplinary course readings. It is equally suitable for courses of a few weeks’ or a few months’ duration. The exercises can be undertaken by the students by themselves, or together with their peers, and can be incorporated as class activities by the teacher. This succinct and conversationally-written guide will engage and motivate your students while developing the skills to succeed in their service-learning.

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About the Author:

Christine M. Cress is Professor, Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education (PACE) Program, Portland State University.

Review:

"The recent work by Cress, Collier, and Reitenauer Learning Trhough Serving: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning Across the Disciplines, is a helpful tool for institutions desiring their graduates to be more socially and communally active during and after their time of study...Learning Through Serving could be easily adapted to any curent service course or to supply the framework for developing a new course. It is thoughtful and useful for instructors and students... Institutions that desire their graduates learn to be the catalysts of change the world needs, should not overlook this useful and inspiring work."

"College students who want to make the most of service learning are advised to check out this practical DIY resource. The book covers a lot of ground, from basic definations to the nitty-gritty of team-building, inter-cultural sensitivity and common pitfalls brought home by examples and exercises."

"Although the number of service-learning publications directed at faculty has increased dramatically over the last few years, publications aimed at students have been relatively rare. Learning through Serving represents an important, highly useful student-oriented resource. Not only does it cover a range of topics, from key definitions and distinctions, to team-building, intercultural sensitivity, and typical mistakes, but it also provides practical exercises for all the topics it discusses."

“Finally, a companion reader for students in service-learning courses! It is filled with meaningful exercises to help students make sense of their service experience and relate it to the course content. This is an important contribution to the field of service learning and faculty should utilize this book to help students understand and make the most of their service-learning experience.”

"The authors of this book work at Portland State University, which has a reputation for serious commitment to a learning paradigm, a thoughtful general education curriculum, and a concern for student mindfulness and active citizenship. On the evidence of Learning Through Serving, it is well-deserved."

"[This] is a self-directed guide for college students engaged in service-learning. The purpose of the book is to walk the reader through elements of learning and serving by focusing on how students can 'best provide meaningful service to a community agency or organization while simultaneously gaining new skills, knowledge, and understanding as an integrated aspect of the [student's] academic program.' [The authors] bring their expertise to the pages of this helpful and practical guide for college students engaged in service-learning. Intended as a textbook, this work reads like a conversation between the authors and the college student learner. The publication is student-friendly, comprehensive, easy to follow, and full of helpful activities."

The authors presume that community-based learning places students in contact with diverse others and, therefore, that learners must attend to that aspect of their own development. They provide the instructor with useful guidelines for designing and implementing effective service-learning programs."

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