There are many things to consider as you work to develop a community based service component for your course. In the pages that follow, we have tried to anticipate some of your questions and address some of your concerns by sharing the experience of seasoned teachers, community partners and our knowledgeable staff at the Shaw Center.
The Shaw Center is dedicated to helping you design community based service learning experiences that enhance the learning goals of your course while meeting a real community defined need. While understanding your own pedagogical reasons for coming to service learning is vital to successful implementation, it is also important to work through the logistics (anticipating student needs, understanding transportation needs) of adding a new component to your course.
Over the years, the Shaw Center has compiled a list of frequently asked questions when navigating pedagogical and community challenges faced by students, faculty and community partners.
Incorporating reflection is the key component of designing service learning pedagogy. The Shaw Center houses several resources for incorporating reflective practices in the classroom.
Navigating pedagogical and community challenges faced by students, faculty and community partners demonstrates foresight in knowing that there will be questions and issues to negotiate as a strong relationship is built across constituency groups with different expectations, goals, and commitments.
Addressing these needs means maximizing resources, many of which are available through experienced colleagues and community members, archives of student and instructor work and notations, and a growing library of research and classroom resources at the Shaw Center.