What Community-Engaged Teaching & Learning Looks Like
At St. Edward’s, community-engaged teaching and learning overlaps with social-justice work. Part of this overlap reflects different strategies aimed at reaching students at different stages of their college experience (e.g., freshmen v. seniors), and part of this overlap reflects how faculty members interpret and implement the university mission differently. In our work developing the Experiential Learning for Social Justice Integration (renamed Mission Markers) for the General Education Curriculum Renewal, the requirement development committee developed the following model to understand how these different approaches coalesce to shape student learning at St. Edward’s. The table below names common approaches to community-engaged teaching and learning, and then it describes the types of activities that students do in these courses. The table also illustrates how, when taken together, these experiences serves as a scaffold for student learning.
|1. Students investigate local issues through primary and secondary research.
2. Students apply knowledge developed through the course to engage with these issues.
3. Students reflect on how community-based, social justice work relates to a liberal arts education at St. Edward’s University.
|1. Students develop or engage in a project that meets the needs of a community organization.
2. Students apply knowledge developed through the course to engage with local issues.
3. Students reflect on how community-based, social justice work shapes their understanding of the course material.
|Partnering for Community-Based Work
|1. Students sustain a relationship with a community organization for the duration of the course.
2. Students apply knowledge developed in their major and/or minor areas of study to meet needs determined in collaboration with the community partner.
3. Students reflect on how community-based, social justice work shapes their understanding of practices within their field.
Thanks to Amy Nathan Wright, Kim Garza, Kris Sloan, Laurie Cook Heffron, and Lou Serna for their work on the Experiential Learning for Social Justice Requirement Development Committee and contributions to this framework.