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Service-learning aims at developing service experiences for students that enhance learning while addressing community needs through reciprocal campus-community partnerships.  While some educators have focused on discipline-specific learning objectives, others have embraced a social change orientation, by promoting social awareness and encouraging social responsibility among students in addressing key community concerns.  This shift in focus, known as “critical service-learning” brings implications related to the developments and sustainability of campus-community partnerships, as well as to classroom dynamics.

This presentation will be anchored in this paradigm shift towards a critical approach to service-learning, discussing implications of adopting a critical service-learning approach, reviewing the role of all stakeholders (faculty, students and community members) throughout the various phases of developing and sustaining reciprocal service-learning partnerships.  This interactive and reflective presentation will use examples of existing partnerships to discuss how challenges have emerged and have been addressed during planning, implementation and follow up.

As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast traditional and critical service-learning approaches
  • Identify barriers and articulate strategies to applying critical service-learning principles in planning, implementing, and evaluating campus-community collaborative projects
  • Highlight student learning outcomes connected to critical service-learning
  • Recognize the benefits of place-based community engagement to sustain partnerships
  • Discuss how session contents and examples can be adapted to respective disciplines
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