The Future of Service-learning: New Solutions for Sustaining and Improving Practice

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Stylus, 2009 - Education - 236 pages
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As a new generation of practitioners engages with service learning, at a time when higher education faces questions about learning outcomes and costs, and in the context of such issues as globalization and the environment, this book poses important questions about practice, institutional sustainability, and future directions. Among these are: What counts as service learning? What value does it bring to institutions? Is it appropriate for all students? How is globalization impacting service learning? Divided into three thematic parts, this book successively covers institutional and administrative issues; service learning as a springboard for research; and presents new practices that address emerging challenges and changing student populations. The contributors review how different institutional types have structured their service learning activities; address the issue of centralization or decentralization; propose better ways to form community partnerships; consider promotion and tenure implications; postulate framing service-learning and community engagement as scholarship; and examine service-learning as a springboard for research. Further chapters offer a new blueprint for funding to achieve sustainability; examples of international service learning from a European perspective; a case study and framework for using on-line formats to extend the reach of a program; raise the urgent issue of the experiences and contributions of underrepresented students; and present the rationale and processes for developing effective student-led evaluation of programs.

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About the author (2009)

Jean R. Strait is Director of the Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching. She brings a wealth of first-hand experience in the classroom having taught reading, literacy, and educational psychology in higher education for the past 20 years. She has also developed and led urban teacher programs with service-learning components at two-year and four-year colleges throughout the Twin Cities. In addition, Dr. Strait has created programs to train adults in the Dakota Language and has helped refugee teachers become licensed in Minnesota. Literacy is at the heart of all my teaching, she says.

Marybeth Lima is the Cliff and Nancy Spanier Alumni Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and director of the Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. She and her partner live in Baton Rouge with three rescue animals.

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