Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning Fall 1999, pp. 133-137 Book Review Faith of Our (Service-Learning Mothers and) Fathers: A Review of Service-Learning: A Movement's Pioneers Reflect on Its Origins, Practice and Future Timothy K. Stanton, Dwight E. Giles, Jr., and Nadinne I. Cruz San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999 For those interested in service-learning - whether as a novice or experienced faculty practitioner, as a scholar of higher education or social movements, as a student, as a community partner, or as an interested observer - this book is a must read. ServiceLearning: A Movement's Pioneers Reflect on Its Origins, Practice and Future, or simply the "Pioneers" book as people in service-learning circles refer to it, offers the reader a wealth of insights and wisdom about service-learning from the people who initiated this movement in higher education. The book reviews the history of the movement through the eyes of its early practitioners, introduces the challenges faced by early practitioners and their responses, both personally and programmatically, and articulates their accumulated wisdom that informs the debates that the movement still faces today. As a now-seasoned service-learning practitioner, what I find most rewarding in "Pioneers" are the voices of people I have come to respect articulating my own passions, frustrations, commitments, and ambivalences in ways that are simultaneously comforting and challenging. At virtually every servicelearning meeting I have attended over the years, the conversation often steers toward the frustrations participants experience at their home institutions as a result of being marginalized, disrespected, or ignored. In reading of the pioneers' early (and often continuing) experiences, I find it comforting that others have been engaged in similar struggles elsewhere, and that I am not alone in this struggle. I find that I can learn from these seasoned veterans who know how to win victories in their communities, in their universities, and with their students. And I find it reassuring that I am doing something right (and good) to be confronting these difficulties, and that it is not simply my own deficiencies that underlie the challenges I face. At the same time, hearing the pioneers' eloquent formulations of the goals we seek in the service-learning movement - to transform higher education, to change power relations in society, and to democratize our political system - reminds me of the monumental challenges still before us. The authors of Service-Learning, Timothy Stanton, Dwight Giles, and Nadinne Cruz, refer to the collective vision of social justice transformation and practice of educators who integrate community service (broadly defined) into the academic work of institutions of higher education as a social movement. I believe this to be an appropriate and valuable approach to understanding the phenomenon of service-learning and have elaborated this social movement framework elsewhere (Marullo, 1996). However, in saying this, I should point out that the authors do not present an analytical framework of the movement's ideology or mobilizing frameworks, or a systematic review of the organizational forms or program strategies to achieve the movement's goals (Lofland, 1996). To be sure, these elements are all contained in Service-Learning, found in the stories told by the pioneers, which provide deep insights into understanding the pioneers' passions for service-learning and visions of social change. What I find to be weakest in "Pioneers" is the limited systematization done by the authors in presenting the forms the movement has taken and framing the debates confronting the movement. The authors have instead chosen to let the pioneers' own words speak to these issues. Clearly, this narrative, oral history format achieves the purposes set forth by the authors: to give this field, which has shaped and supported us so well over many years, a sense of its rich, colorful, diverse, and largely unknown origins. In so doing, we hope to stimulate both individual and collective reflection on this work, and help pass it on to the next generation of practitioners. (p. xvi) Once the decision was made to present the oral histories of the early leaders of the service-learning movement, the authors determined a process for selecting the pioneers to include. The methodology involved convening a conference of known servicelearning pioneers, hearing their stories, and eliciting 133 0
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