Community Partners for Civic Participation
and Social Change
Dave Wells
Assistant Faculty Director
Interdisciplinary Studies Degree
Arizona State University
Outline
• Overview
• Models to help you think through
possibilities (25 minutes)
• Evaluating possibilities for you (25
minutes)
• Exploration Sheet (feel free to jot as I
present)
• Time to complete sheet
• Discussion in small groups
• Sharing and trouble shooting
• Assume you’re interested. Not going to
spend time on educational theory to
convince you.
Why do it?
• Education More Meaningful
– For Students (beyond textbook learning, integrates learning
with doing and models what we’d like to see students do
after they graduate)
– More Student-Centered
– For Faculty (you’ll learn something in the process)
• Makes Teaching More Challenging
– You may partially lose control and class may be less
predictable
– Students may find a need to talk about their experience
• Making Impact on the Community, with the
community as your partner
• You’re like me
- so devoted to social change and civic engagement that it
NEEDS to be part of aligning your life with your teaching.
Why not do it?
• Developing and maintain relationships with
community organizations takes time!
• Makes Teaching More Challenging (you saw this
before!)
– You may partially lose control and class may be less
predictable
– Students may find a need to talk about their experience
• Challenges at your institution like…
•
•
•
•
Inadequate support (course release, staff support, …)
Not what will enable you to keep your job
Student time constraints
Making students aware of unique offerings
Course Planning
Many Models to Choose from
(start thinking and jotting!)
• Short-term or Episodic opportunities on or off campus (Example
1)
• Creating social action field trips (Example 2)
• Matching with existing on campus programs for off campus work
(Example 3a)
• Creating on off campus opportunities with limited hours for
added credit (Example 3b)
• Developing community-based research (Example 4a)
• Community Research for social change outside organization
(Example 4b)
• Social Action in collaboration or independently (Example 5)
• Paired Internships with Integrated Courses (Example 6)
Example 1: volunteer or match with
on campus program
• Ask Students to volunteer in a course related community
project
• In my BIS 301 class, I’ve had students do a “boundary
crossing“ experience, where they either do “Voices of
Discovery“ on campus or volunteer at a community agency
for at least 6 hours a semester which required them to cross
a race, gender, social class, religious, age or other
“boundary“ and then write about it.
• ASU has an office that maintain a volunteer data base
including long-term, short-term and episodic (1 time)
opportunities.
• Could have students attend a City Council Meeting or
other public meeting (or expand that to becoming involved
in a community issue under discussion).
• In Tempe a rental housing task force has been formed.
• Also, looking at Pay Day Loans
Example 2: Social Action Field Trip
• Colleague plans to give class an option of going to
Mexican border with Borderlinks, a nonprofit
organization based in Tucson (we’re 100 miles north
of Tucson)
• Likely tour maquiladoras and see housing
conditions and compare with appearances on this
side of border.
• Meet with representatives of various organizations
Example 3a: Service Learning
Course Match
• ASU’s Service Learning Office runs tutoring and other
instruction aid programs in many schools in Phoenix
serving at risk youngsters.
• Instructors match their courses with the program
• Service Learning could be added credit
• Could replace assignments in the class—with
students not doing service learning having
something else they do.
Service Learning Program
Background and Design
• Primary partners: school districts and non-profit agencies
• Funding partners: education, business, and industry
• Provides training, oversight, research, and community
engagement opportunities for students and faculty
• Regular courses linked to credit-bearing semester-long
internships or course-embedded projects
• Students apply classroom knowledge in the community
• Students infuse classroom with their community learning
• Students reflect on community experiences via computermediated, instructor-led discussions
AFH 333
Fall 2002
ENG 471
ENG 312
AFH 353
Fall 2002
ENG 480
SPA 202
(Fall
2002)
MIC 205
Dept.
of
Microbiology
MTE 180
RDG 301
African
American
Studies
LIN 572
ENG 217
Dept. of
Languages
&
Literatures
Department of
Mathematics
DCI 498
Education
RDG 507
ENG 102
Department
of
English
The Service Learning
Program
Amer
English
Culture
Program
ENG 101
Stretch
101
UNI 494
Capstone
UNI 494
Community
Web Dev
HON
484
at ASU
Honors
College
BIO 100
Dept.
of
Plant
Biology
Academically-Linked
Service Learning
Internships
School of
Architecture
ARP 494
PLB 108
University
College
Dept. of
Sociology
UNI 494
Leadership
Dept. of
Physics and
Astronomy
BIS 401
GRN 440,
498,
540
BIO 187
Dept.
of
Biology
College of
Public
Programs
Gerontology
Program
Any PHS
Any PHY
SWG 591
JUS 341
Dept. of
Geological
Sciences
SOC 341
SOC 470
Department
Of
Psychology
Center for
Solid State
Science
Dept. of
Geography
Office of
Climatology
PSY 101
GLG
101/103
UNI 494
Science
Is Fun
PGS
365
GPH 373
GPH 111
Booker T.
Washington
Head Start
Laird
Aguilar
Mesa
School
District
Fees
Middle
School
Tempe
School
District
#3
Carminati
Eisenhower
South
Mtn. H.S.
Wilson
School
Wilson
School
District
Phoenix
Citadel
Corps
M.L..
King
Sunland
Salt River
Pima-Maricopa
Indian
Community
C.O.
Greenfield
Phoenix
Elementary
School
District #1
Sierra
Vista
Conchos
Mountain
Pointe
High School
Kenilworth
Salt
River
Elem.
Jorgensen
Cesar
Chavez
Tempe Union
High School
District
Valley
View
Ed
Pastor
South
Mountain
Youth and
Family
Center
Mesa
Corps
Tutoring Sites
J.F.
Kennedy
Percy
Julian
Lassen
The
Salvation
Army
Southwest
Div
The Service
Learning
Program
Roosevelt
School
District
Akimel
Rose
Linda
Nevitt
M.O.
Bush
MLK,
Jr.
M.O.
Bush
EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY –
CLASSROOM LINKS
ENGLISH COMPOSITION:
• COMMUNITY: raising Stanford 9 scores in the
Valley’s most in-need schools
•CLASSROOM: using community work as basis for
semester’s research and editing
•English 101
•English 102
•English 217
•English 312
LITERATURE FOR ADOLESCENTS:
• COMMUNITY: helping adolescent readers improve literacy
skills and gain insights into themselves and the larger world
• CLASSROOM: creating a real-world application for classroom
learning
METHODS OF TEACHING WRITING:
• COMMUNITY: helping young writers practice the Six Traits of
Good Writing
CLASSROOM: infusing course work with real-world experience
MATH EDUCATION:
•COMMUNITY : Helping academically at-risk third graders
learn basic math skills
•CLASSROOM: Motivating potential teachers to learn
material in non-threatening environments
ARCHITECTURE:
• COMMUNITY: Providing gifted but at-risk children with
experiences that can help them expand the limits of their
aspirations
•CLASSROOM: Enhancing awareness of the public role
of architects
SCIENCE:
•COMMUNITY: Helping minority students realize they
have the potential to be scientists
•CLASSROOM: Creating student-centered
environments that heighten students’ academic and
social engagement in:
•Geology
•Microbiology
•Physical Science
•Physical Geography
•Plant Biology
SOCIOLOGY:
• COMMUNITY: Assisting at-risk youth develop
education-based alternatives to anti-social behavior
• CLASSROOM: Heightening understanding of
classroom theories as they relate to community
issues
•Urban Issues
•Modern Social Problems
•Racial and Ethnic Relations
Example 3b: Service hours with
multiple placements
(Welfare Reform Course )
• Welfare Reform Course at Earlham College
with 20 hour community service component (4
credits instead of 3). Students worked at
agencies with local connection to course
– Indiana Workforce Development
– Women, Infants, Children (WIC)
– Richmond (IN) Housing Authority
– Family and Children Services
– Genesis Battered Women’s Shelter
Readings plus Experience
• Students read texts giving both history,
perspectives on the issue, models of how labor
markets worked
• A former welfare mom visited the class to discuss
her experience
• The students discussed every week new
experiences
• Ultimately students presented their experience
for campus community and wrote reports sent to
the agencies.
Example 4a: Community Based
Research (Research Methods Course)
• With assistance of Nonprofit Management Institute
we solicited requests for nonprofit research projects.
• We match one section (30 students) with an
organization and seek to answer their research
questions with quantitative and qualitative methods-which the students are learning about in the course.
• Meeting a community need (under funded
organization), while providing a lasting educational
experience.
• Works best in terms of time involvement if you have a
continual relationship with a few organizations.
Past Projects
-Arizona Coalition to End Domestic Violence
– Analyzed Dept. of Public Safety data on arrests and dispositions of
crimes that sometimes were connected to domestic violence. With
further work after the course, released formal report at press
conference with organization.
– CARE Partnership
– Door to door community survey with bilingual junior high translators.
– Helped inventory community dental clinics for capacity and
procedures as part of an oral health needs assessment.
– Women in New Recovery
– Coordinated to support Needs assessment federal grant with
survey distribution and focus group notes.
– Not My Kid
– Helped with program evaluation by doing pre and post surveys after
their classroom presentations (drug and eating disorders)
Example 4b:Community Research
(Research in the Class outside organizations )
• We conducted a content analysis of media coverage
(print and TV) of politics, especially state government
in February 2004.
• Students coded results, developed a paper
• Issued a press release, held a press conference
• One student got to appear on our public affairs
program on the PBS affiliate.
Example 5: Social Action in
collaboration or independently
• UCLA professor who teamed his social movements
course with a union organizing drive for Los Angeles
downtown hotels.
• This coming semester, for my “Power, Politics, and
Social Change” course, we plan to introduce
legislation or work closely with someone new to the
legislative process, and then take a significant role in
trying to move that legislation.
Example 6: Paired Internships with
Integrated Courses
(“Power, Politics and Social Change”)
• Arizona Public Policy Senior Seminar ( 3 units)
• Legislative Advocacy Applied Study Internship (3
units)
• Builds off existing internship requirement, but ties
to senior seminar in our curriculum. Run every
Spring coinciding with State Legislative Session
• Challenge: How do you find 25 community
placements?
CHALLENGES!
• More than just picking the right books!
• Need to recruit organizations and do advance
planning
• Need to work on joint expectations (especially
challenging in our research methods course)
• Be cognizant of your student limitations. ASU
students have far more limitations (paid work) than
did Earlham College liberal arts students.
• May need patience. It took two years to develop and
cultivate sufficient internship connections for the
paired course building off of 4 prior years of extensive
community and political involvement.
Course Planning
Contact Information
• Dave Wells, Ph.D.
– Interdisciplinary Studies Program
– [email protected]
– 480-727-7038
– Web sites:
– http://www.public.asu.edu/~wellsda/teaching
– http://www.MakeDemocracyWork.org (my archived public policy
newspaper op-eds)
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