Presentation Title

Mobilizing college students through community service-learning and social awareness.

Faculty Mentor

Lucia Alcalá

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 40

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Service learning is a form of experiential learning where volunteerism enhances the learning process while simultaneously fulfilling the needs of the community. Evidence suggests that service-learning combined with a social-justice oriented curriculum (an approach called justice-learning) leads to increased engagement in social issues as students critically acknowledge their position amidst the social structures they live and work within (Butin, 2007; Conley and Hamlin, 2009; Kajner, Chovanec, Underwood, & Mian, 2013; Speck & Hoppe, 2004).

This study seeks to draw a direct comparison between traditional pedagogical styles in the teaching of psychology with pedagogy that incorporates justice-learning as a part of the curriculum. Differences in civic engagement attitudes and behaviors, inclusionary ideals, equity-mindedness, and academic success were explored between students enrolled in a course involving service-learning and students enrolled in a matching course that excluded the service-learning component.

Quantitative analyses of self-report questionnaires and qualitative analyses of class reflection assignments revealed that students who engaged in service-learning felt empowered by their abilities to make meaningful differences in the community and had an increased awareness of their professional aspirations. Thus, the combination of strategically incorporated justice-learning and purposeful reading highlighting social inequality and injustice creates a unique opportunity to remedy the lack of social justice awareness whilst meeting the needs of students and the global community within our current climate of diversification across the spectrum of post-secondary education.

Summary of research results to be presented

Our study found that students who performed service-learning felt empowered by their ability to make meaningful differences in the community and felt a sense of inspiration to become more involved. Students also expressed higher levels of confidence in pursuing their professional goals and lauded the opportunity to experience environments and tasks they likely would not have experienced outside of the service-learning curriculum. One student mentioned, “It showed me that making a difference and working within my community really isn’t as difficult to do as I may have led myself (or been led) to believe.” Another stated, ““This service learning opportunity opened up my eyes and my mind to possible paths in my professional career.” These results highlight the potential for curriculum focusing on social justice and service learning to broaden and enhance the higher education experience of students while also meeting the needs of the surrounding community.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

Mobilizing college students through community service-learning and social awareness.

CREVELING 40

Service learning is a form of experiential learning where volunteerism enhances the learning process while simultaneously fulfilling the needs of the community. Evidence suggests that service-learning combined with a social-justice oriented curriculum (an approach called justice-learning) leads to increased engagement in social issues as students critically acknowledge their position amidst the social structures they live and work within (Butin, 2007; Conley and Hamlin, 2009; Kajner, Chovanec, Underwood, & Mian, 2013; Speck & Hoppe, 2004).

This study seeks to draw a direct comparison between traditional pedagogical styles in the teaching of psychology with pedagogy that incorporates justice-learning as a part of the curriculum. Differences in civic engagement attitudes and behaviors, inclusionary ideals, equity-mindedness, and academic success were explored between students enrolled in a course involving service-learning and students enrolled in a matching course that excluded the service-learning component.

Quantitative analyses of self-report questionnaires and qualitative analyses of class reflection assignments revealed that students who engaged in service-learning felt empowered by their abilities to make meaningful differences in the community and had an increased awareness of their professional aspirations. Thus, the combination of strategically incorporated justice-learning and purposeful reading highlighting social inequality and injustice creates a unique opportunity to remedy the lack of social justice awareness whilst meeting the needs of students and the global community within our current climate of diversification across the spectrum of post-secondary education.