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Service-Politics and Civic Engagement: The Development and Evaluation of an Innovative Service-learning Course PowerPoint Presentation
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Service-Politics and Civic Engagement: The Development and Evaluation of an Innovative Service-learning Course

Service-Politics and Civic Engagement: The Development and Evaluation of an Innovative Service-learning Course

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Service-Politics and Civic Engagement: The Development and Evaluation of an Innovative Service-learning Course

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  1. Service-Politics and Civic Engagement: The Development and Evaluation of an Innovative Service-learning Course Marshall Welch, Ph.D. William Chatwin Noella Sudbury University of Utah

  2. Introductions and Overview • Instructor & Students • Who are you? – Why are you here? • Background • Rationale • Course Description: “Ping-pong” Instructor & Student Perspectives • Course Outcomes & Evaluation/Research

  3. Service Politics & Civic Engagement Class • Rationale & Impetus – Campus Compact Summit Panel of Ehrlich Award Winners • Tom Ehrlich presentation on civic engagement at Campus Compact Summit • Going beyond student volunteerism and service-learning to bring about change • I wanted to learn more about it along with students

  4. Background • Previous conferences and professional literature call for developing civic education coupled with research and evaluation of the course impact. • Formative evaluation necessary to assess class format & activities. • Summative evaluation & outcome-based research is needed

  5. Call for Research Eyler (2000) asked: • How can we design measure of understanding and problem solving that allow students to demonstrate their competence rather than simply testify to it? • How can we embed authentic assessment measures into the service-learning experience? • How can projects be designed to increase students’ sense of engagement with community partners?

  6. Call for Research (continued) • Kahne, Westheimer, and Rogers (2000) maintained that higher education has a critical role in promoting civic engagement. They also proposed that research on civic engagement should focus on “strategies for supporting the development of informed, thoughtful, and active citizens” (p.49). This moves us “away from questions of whether service-learning works and toward a richer conceptualizations of service, of learning, of citizenship, and of the relationship between them” (p.49).

  7. Background – Citizenry Skills Battistoni, R.M. (2002). Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum. Providence, RI: Campus Compact. Political knowledge and critical thinking skills Communication skills Public problem solving Civic judgment Civic Imagination & creativity Collective Action Community/coalition building Organizational analysis

  8. Theoretical Models • Vygotsky (1978; 1986)– constructivist approach of allowing students to construct their learning experience – [challenge for students used to “transactional” education experiences]. • Kahne, Westheimer and Rogers (2000) – developing 3 types of citizens: a) responsible, b) participatory, c) reformer • Colby, Ehrlich, Beaumont, and Stephens (2003) - active learning, learning as a social process, knowledge is shaped by contexts, reflective practice, and capacity to represent an idea in more than one modality

  9. The Civically Engaged Gang:2003 - 2004

  10. The Civically Engaged Gang:2004 - 2005

  11. Key Definitions: Civic Engagement • Responsible community involvement and citizenship characterized by: personal reflection, inner development, thinking, reading, silent protest, dialogue & relationship-building, sharing knowledge, political participation, community service, cultural & spiritual forms of expression, and/or expression through the arts (Pew Foundation)

  12. Key Definitions: Service-Politics Bridging community service and conventional politics for systemic change (Student Wingspread Statement)

  13. Course Overview • Honors 3354 (3 cr. hrs) • Met weekly – 15 weeks • 03/04: 8 students enrolled (course title confusion) in a day course • 04/05: 11 students enrolled in an eve. course • Reflection journals using ABCs – topic collectively generated

  14. Course Overview (cont.) • Class product = • 03/04: Create a student handbook for service-politics & civic engagement • 04/05: Create a student handbook of service-politics tactics • Service-learning component 03/04: • 5 Agencies: 1 On Campus + 4 off campus • Service-learning component 04/05: • 10 Agencies: 2 On campus + 8 off campus (2 projects at 1 agency)

  15. Course Overview (cont.) Text: The New Citizenship: Unconventional Politics, Activism, & Service by, Craig A. Rimmerman Selected readings 04/05: Instructor created an informal “handbook”

  16. Class Pre-flection • 03/04 - Brainstormed list of skills & concepts necessary for civic engagement • 03/04 - Created class covenant of guiding principles and values • 03/04 - Expectations, role clarification • 04/05 – Reflected on our personal motivations for being civically engaged • 04/05 – Respond to the statement: “The way we live our life is inherently a political and spiritual act.”

  17. Class Pre-flection: Will’s Student Perspective 03/04 • Personal Expectations • Course Covenant • Typology of Service

  18. Class Pre-flection: Noella’s Student Perspective 04/05 • Setting the tone • Revisiting initial impressions • Creating a comfortable atmosphere

  19. Service-learning Projects: 03/04 • Student Union waste audit • Alternative weekend on homelessness • Established campus group addressing homelessness (2 students) • Payday loan research & pamphlets in Spanish • Archeological site stewardship training manual • Health care client interviews for advocacy group • Marriage-bill research for advocacy group

  20. Will’s Waste Audit • Collected & analyzed waste from Student Union • Formal report & recommendations to Union Administration • Display in “free speech” area • Project continued

  21. Service-learning Projects: 04/05 • Legislators’ report card (more detail in a moment) • Pay-day loan research • Established campus group addressing homelessness • Anti-child porn website • On-campus dialogue on religious diversity • Youth leadership training manual & brochure • Created infrastructure for Faith-based Choral Fest • Sponsored on-campus tour for disadvantaged children • On-campus Animal-rights awareness campaign • On-campus student health insurance awareness campaign • Community environmental education events/brochure

  22. Noella’s Legislators’ Report Card • Response to article written during March 2004 in the Salt Lake Tribune • Independent research and tracking of the 2004 Legislative Session • Partnership with many local interest groups • Partnership with Salt Lake Tribune • Formal report discussing outcomes • Model for a possible project next year

  23. Topics 03/04 • Student Wingspread Statement on Service Politics • Typology of service • Change agents as role models & theoretical foundation • “The Man Who Planted Trees” • Civil Rights Movement • Civic indifference • Legislative change • Advocacy • Creating student-led courses + structure of the university • Change process & stress

  24. Topics 04/05 • Student Wingspread Statement on Service Politics • Typology of service • Change agents as role models & theoretical foundation • “The Man Who Planted Trees” • Civil Rights Movement • Higher Education 101

  25. Topics: Noella’s Student Perspective 04/05 • Wingspread Statement • Moving from volunteerism to civic engagement • Using change agents and events throughout history as leadership models (scavenger hunt) • Learning the school system • Didn’t get through everything

  26. Topics: Will’s Student Perspective 03/04 Constriction between years • Response to Apathy (civic indifference) • Legislative Change/Advocacy • Student Taught Courses • Change Process & Stress

  27. Skills 03/04 • Goal statements & action plans • Public relations/press releases • Community-based research • Advocacy tactics • Internet as a tool (didn’t do as much as I wanted) • Oral Presentations • Group dynamics, organizing groups, & collaboration

  28. Skills: Will’s Student Perspective 03/04 Same and Different • Goal Statements/Action Plans/Group Dynamics • Internet Under-utilized Tool • Oratory • Community-Based Research

  29. Skills 04/05 • Goal statements & action plans • Public relations/press releases • Internet & blogging • Advocacy tactics • Oral Presentation skills • Organizing groups/running meetings • Group dynamics, organizing groups, & collaboration

  30. Skills: Noella’s Student Perspective 04/05 • A skill for everyone • The importance of action plans • Group feedback

  31. Guest Speakers 03/04 • Directors of non-profit advocacy groups • State Senator • Local news reporter • Campus P.R. officer • Political campaign manager/Congressional Aide • [*only 1 guest speaker on P.R. in 04/05 due to election]

  32. Guest Speakers: Will’s Student Perspective • Reporter Retracts Statement • Ashley, Will You Marry Me? • The Bill and Linda Show

  33. Activities & Assignments: 03/04 • “Killer articles” • Reflection (written vs. alternative forms) • Create “answer key” to post-test of concepts • Oral presentations • Press release • Action Plan

  34. Activities & Assignments: Will’s Student Perspective 03/04 • Killer Articles - missing link to internet and current events • Reflection Alternatives • I Didn't Trust Classmates Answers

  35. Activities & Assignments: 04/05 • Reflection (written vs. alternative forms) • Create “answer key” to post-test of concepts • Oral presentation on project • Press release • Action Plan • Tactic presentation • Tactic handbook

  36. Activities & Assignments: Noella’s Student Perspective 04/05 • Combination of Oral, Written, and Group Activities • Learning from Reflection • House Party: writing the answer key • Presenting my project • Putting skills and tactics to use

  37. Course Impact • Pre and post test on cognitive measures • Pre and post measure on citizenry • Course evaluation • Class product • Unexpected outcomes 03/04: • Change process & time • Stress + “Success” and “failure” • Democracy Dialogue & S.P.A.C.E. • Unexpected outcomes 04/05: • Noella’s independent major

  38. Cognitive Pre & Post-tests: 03/04 • 50 key terms & concepts • Dichotomous scoring 1/0 • Pre mean = 3.87 • Post mean = 45.87 • t = - 44.2344 • SD = 2.67 • P < .000

  39. Cognitive Pre & Post-tests: 04/05 t = -31.909 SD = 3.94 p = < .000

  40. Citizenry Assessment • Modified Eyler & Giles (1999) [with permission] • Part I = Opinion (26 items) • Part II = Skills & activities (21 items) • Part III = Behaviors (25 items) • Part IV = Demographics (12 items) • Limitations = small n + lack of matched pre/post in 03/04 sample

  41. Part I – Sample Items • I feel social problems should be of concern to me. • Government should help solve social problems. • It is important to me to personally influence the political structure. • I can play an important role in improving my community.

  42. Pre/Post Scores Part I: Citizenry Opinions03/04 (no overall statistical sig.)

  43. Pre/Post Scores Part I: Citizenry Opinions04/05 *p < .000 significant difference between groups’ post mean scores

  44. Part II: Sample Items • Thinking critically. • Ability to take action. • Knowing where to find information. • Ability to lead a group. • Ability to speak in public. • Tolerance of people different from me. • Ability to work with others.

  45. Pre/Post Scores on Part II: Citizenry Skills(p = .02)

  46. Pre/Post Scores Part II: Citizenry Skills04/05 No significant difference between groups’ post mean scores [p < .102]

  47. Part III: Sample Items • I discuss political/social issues with friends. • I carefully consider facts before taking a stand. • I sign petitions. • I read the newspaper or watch TV/Web news everyday. • I vote in local elections.

  48. Pre/Post Scores on Part III: Behaviors(no overall statistical significance*)

  49. Pre/Post Scores Part III: Citizenry Behaviors04/05 *p < .007 significant difference between groups’ post mean scores

  50. Course Evaluation 03/041= Strongly Disagree 6 = Strongly Agree • I developed leadership skills = 5.57 • I have a better understanding of diverse group/diversity = 5.71 • I developed my collaboration skills = 5.14 • I provided a needed service to address a community need = 5.71 • I learned to be a good citizen = 5.0 • I better understand course content through service in this class = 5.86