From The Prout Research Institute Service-learning Toolkit
1. Sparking Ideas & Meeting Needs
Issues Wall: Students post newspaper articles, graphics, drawings, essays and internet searches on a wall in the classroom about passionate issues. Then they discuss priority areas to develop a project.
Teach-in: Students identify community partners and local experts to offer dialogues and presentations across the campus on priority issues. Students meet together in setting goals for a service-learning process.
A bus tour allows you to see alley ways that need clean-up; rivers that need reforestation; areas of dilapidated buildings; as well as inspiring sites such as a great community center, an organic farm, a great sports facility, etc.
3. Addressing Academic & Other Competencies
4. Partner Collaboration
Portfolios: Each student in collaboration with the teacher compiles a portfolio that may contain:
1. Journal writing reflecting on all aspects of the project.
2. Planning notes and charts
3. Photographs of projects
4. Letters from those served
5. Research notes or print-outs
6. Evaluations and Observations
7. Final Presentations
Partner Informed Process:
1. Observations of teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking skills
2. Feedback from clients and co-workers
3. Evaluation of project from the point of view of partner
5. Reflection in Service-Learning.
Reflection can occur through free form writing for students who learn best without structure or directed writing with prompts and questions about the service-learning experience for students who thrive with structure. Students reflect in groups along with teacher and partner groups or can paint murals, dance or develop a drama.
I learned what it meant to look at an issue and break it down, to see the inter-connectedness and the complexity of an issue such as homelessness, to brainstorm and initiate strategies that addressed root causes and to avoid slapping a “Band-Aid” on symptoms. – College Student
6. The stages of civic engagement & social justice about toxic waste
Students used their science skills to investigate toxic waste at a public dump.
Students surveyed the community to understand the impact of the site on human health.
Students developed a presentation on their findings to the local community and the city council.
The city council agreed to investigate the site.
The increased awareness of the project in the community led to protests to close down the site.
Student presentations led to a study of the correlation between lower income sites and the larger issue of toxic waste, lack of tree cover, park space, and open space across communities.
7. Evaluation: Student Service-Learning Survey
Questions will help students think about their service learning experience, and if it made a difference in their life and in the lives of others. So it assists planning for the next service-learning project and convinces supporters of the benefits.
Students, please circle the most accurate response.
4= Very much 3=Some 2=not much 1=Not at all
1. I provided a needed service to the community.
1 2 3 4
2. Now I think and care more about other people.
1 2 3 4
3. I got to know the underlying causes and problems behind the issue that we addressed.
1 2 3 4
4. I feel more positive about others.
1 2 3 4
5. My writing and reading skills improved in the process.
1 2 3 4
6. I know how to work with and help people who are different from me.
1 2 3 4
8. Celebration and Presentation
Presentations & Celebrations are a demonstration of what was learned in the service-learning project. They may include reflections, photos of the project, letters from program participants, or digital films.
Presentations & Celebrations may represent advocacy for a needed civic engagement project and can be held in a public place, or presented at a local city council meeting or at a conference. They may also be combined with a community festival.