/ A Service-Learning Curriculum for Faculty
Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning Fall 1995, pp. 112-122 A Service-Learning Curriculum for Faculty Robert G. Bringle and Julie A. Hatcher Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis The development of service-learning courses is contingent upon faculty. Institutions of higher education which are interested in service-learning can engage in faculty development activities in order to (a) develop a common understanding on campus concerning the nature ofservice- learning, (b) establish and maintain the academic integrity ofservice-learning, (c) increase the confidence offaculty as they implement a new pedagogy, and (d) increase the likelihood that service-learning is institutionalized in higher education. This article describes a curriculum for a series offaculty workshops: Introduction to Service-Learning, Reflection, Building Community Partnerships, Student Supervision andAssessment, and Course Assessment andResearch. Each module provides a synopsis of topics and suggested readings for participants. Institutions of higher education are exploring ways of incorporating service to extend their mission, enhance student achievement and persistence, and engage students in their communities as part of their academic curriculum (e.g., Boyer, 1994; Ehrlich, 1995). As institutions search for ways in which to do this, they often recognize service- learning as an important strategy. We consider service-learning to be a coursebased, credit-bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. This is in contrast to co- curricular and extracurricular service, from which learning may occur, but for which there is no formal evaluation and documentation of academic learning. Implementing service-learning in the academic curriculum ofcolleges and universities is strengthened by strategically planned change. Bringle and Hatcher (in press) have described a Comprehensive Action Plan for Service Learning (CAPSL) that identifies four important constituencies that need to be considered for effective implementation of service-learning programs: institution, faculty, students, and community. For each of these constituencies, CAPSL identifies the following sequence of activities to guide the implementation of service-learning: plan112 ning, increasing awareness, developing a prototype service-learning course, acquiring resources, programmatic expansion, recognition, monitoring, evaluation, research, and institutionalization. The resulting 40-cell matrix1 provides a means to develop a strategic plan to implement servicelearning and to assess progress towards its institutionalization. Because the implementation of service-learning represents a revision of courses in the curriculum or an addition to the curriculum, it falls under the purview of faculty. Thus, as important as each of the four constituencies is, the development of service-learning within higher education is primarily the work of faculty. Thus, this article will focus on the expansion of service-learning through faculty development activities directed at curriculum revision. There are many ways in which the implementation of service-learning can occur. Faculty can discover service-learning through their involvement in the community, personal advocacy for an issue, political engagement and activism, or experience in related pedagogies. We speculate that this would be more likely to occur in disciplines for which there is a predisposition toward an ethic and practice of service (e.g., social work) than in other disciplines (e.g., engineering). Faculty may also discover service-learning through a colleague, a professional journal, a student, or community agency personnel. In addition to being a slow and capricious process, such accidental discovery would likely yield uneven results across the
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