Check out this text to learn the best instruments you can use to evaluate SL courses or to do research on SL. The text explores several ways of assessing participants' attitudes, opinions, behaviors, feelings, and beliefs, as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with each of these instruments. It also discusses the most commonly used tools in SL assessment, which are the reflection products of the participants. http://www.servicelearning.org/service-learning-research-primer/common-types-assessment-tools-service-learning-research
Check also the whole book Service Learning Research Primer, by Steinberg, Bringle, and Williams (2010) to learn more about the processes of implementing SL in a class, and doing research on it! http://www.servicelearning.org/filemanager/download/9054_service-learning_research_primer.pdf
The International Service Learning Badili Mtizamo (Change the way you see things) in Tanzania aims at educating girls and boys about gender equality, leadership, and health. According to the program director, girls and boys must learn together to relate to each other in a more equal basis. In a country where 33% of the women have reported to have been subject to physical, domestic violence and 6% of them have reported to have been physically forced to have sex before the age 18, the program has identified a strong community need, which is the improvement of the girls’ life quality. Faculty and students engaged in the program work together with two high schools to improve girls’ self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, self-worth, as well as to educate the boys about the girls’ right to say “no”, and the fathers’ responsibility with pregnant girls.
Check out the documentary of the program: http://umanitoba.ca/student/ics/wwise/tanzania.html
Parents and teachers who want to motivate their children and students to engage in Community Service will find this video very helpful. It presents several different ideas for Community Service projects which kids can develop. Community Service may be an excellent opportunity for children to develop self-esteem, and grow as people. It is also the only opportunity many children will have for developing civic responsibility. The benefits for the community are also manifold: Community Service meets community needs through supporting families, improving schools, supporting youth, and beautifying the community, just to name a few. It meets needs which would probably not be taken care of by other institutions. Check out the video in the following link:
Making your corporation more socially responsible is a way of giving back to the community, which your business depends on so much. You do not have to give huge amounts of money or much of your time to make a difference in your community. Some companies give their employees two paid days a year to volunteer on community projects. Others donate their pcs charities that refurbishes them and send them to school in need. Yet, others teach their employees how to eat well. Check out the full list of actions companies are taking to become more socially responsible: http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.co.uk/articles/23/10/2008/324141/corporate-social-responsibility-25-ways-to-be-more-socially-responsible.htm
The Minnesota Department of Health highlights three models of community engagement that are worthy to be followed:
1. Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD): in this model, instead of starting from a needs analysis of the community, the ABCD model starts with a strength analysis, and assess how the community can improve using its members’ assets.
2. Association for Community Health Improvement: this model seeks to strengthen the community health through education. It brings together and supports leaders from health care and other community sectors to identify and address community health goals.
3. Cultural Complementarity Model: Based on the beliefs that (1) working together will lead to the elimination of racism, since racism is based on our values as human beings, and that (2) a celebration of differences evolves out of dialogue and exchange among participants, the Cultural Complementary model proposes that such ideas be developed during the process of working for mutually agreed goals.
Check out the details of each model in the Minnesota Department of Health website: http://www.health.state.mn.us/communityeng/intro/models.html#cc
A recent study found that 42% of how people feel about a company's reputation is based on their perceptions of the firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). Microsoft, Google and BMW are among the 10 companies with the Corporate Social Responsibility in the World! Check the whole list in the Forbes Magazine website http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/12/10/the-companies-with-the-best-csr-reputations/
When engaging your students in service learning projects, teachers also want to engage them in reflection to make sure they are learning as much as possible from the experience. Service-Learning Reflection Activities, by Robin R. Jones brings several suggestions for activities that can hell in the task.
For guiding students in finding connections between the theories they learn in class and the practice they have during the execution of the project, the Double-entry Journal can be a great practice. Portfolios is another useful reflection tool. It gives the students the feeling of accomplishment especially because they can easily share their results with whoever they want in a format that will also express their preferences and creativity. When dealing with large classrooms, it may be a challenge to have students present their experiences and reflections to the class on a regular basis. A practical solution for this issue would be the Small Group Week. Small groups also have the advantage of making students more comfortable, and then they will talk more!
Check the full list of suggested attitudes in the link:
The Cal State University Monterey Bay received the Higher Education Civic Engagement Award for its community engagement in projects like its role as the anchor of a broad coalition to revitalize the long-neglected Chinatown neighborhood in Salinas. The Chinatown project is an example of service learning and how universities are making students more engaged in the community.
Check out the details of the engagement in the following link:
President Obama launched on July 15th a National Service Task Force to expand and promote opportunities for Americans to engage in community service. The initiative can be interpreted as the recognition of the individuals’ power not only to identify problems but also to promote meaningful changes in and strength their communities. For more details about the National Service Task Force, check out the following links:
The force is led by the Corporation for National & Community Service, in which website one can also find opportunities to serve!