First aired in September 8, the Wisconsin Public Television put together a program “Wisconsin’s Homegrown Farmer” where our reentry urban agriculture initiative in South Madison was one of the three projects featured.
All of the three projects are great initiatives, with different emphasis. Fast forward to 9:56 time to watch ours.
Here it is the link http://video.wpt.org/video/2365836641/.
Service learning is a higher education civic engagement approach, commonly practiced in semester-long courses. There has been a variety of studies that assess how the practice of service learning has been mostly driven by the interests of the higher education institutions. Consequently, the practice of service learning has been criticized as useless, and even harmful to communities served in some instances (read more about this on When Service Learning Doesn’t Really Serve). Continue reading Three (Overlooked) Features Essential to Successful Service Learning in Higher Education
From my most recent conversation, I was asked what to do in encouraging engineering students to participate in a service learning (SL) program?
I have learned that in a research university institution, “recruiting” engineering students–who tend to have “busy” schedule and perceive less direct learning/practice in SL program–has been a challenge.
From the “busy” perspective, I could respond immediately that in my SL course, I always have one sentence in my course description that says “Flexible schedules are expected as likely we will have project tasks that require students to go to meetings outside of regular class times.” How one understands the word busy is relative to one’s socio cultural context. In my SL case, I always try to see it from a community’s perspective, that their schedule is not as straight-forward as us academics. And that we have more resources than community groups, we should be more flexible to meet their schedule.
SL is to serve the needs of the community. We are the ones who should fit our schedule to theirs.
As for the “recruiting,” it took me a while. But finally I remember that SL is about civic engagement. Also, thinking about my current TA assignment with the “Taking Initiative,” I offer the following thoughts.
Continue reading Service learning for engineering students?
Shared a poster in the Community Development Society annual meeting and conference in Dubuque July 20-23, 2014.
My poster is basically a reflection on the last five service learning courses I co-instructed in the past four academic years. Please read my posts on my past service learning courses for more information about them.
In the mean time you can view an image version of the poster. Continue reading Shouldn’t Service Learning be About Civic Engagement?
Met wonderful people at the Community Development Society! In addition to participating in the conference, because this is a membership-based group, I also attended their annual meeting. People are kind, a relatively small group but growing.
Some interesting notes around the issue of community development society, and also specifically those related with the environment, that I took and would certainly be part of my thinking for a very long time.
mechanical posture vs ecological posture
I have been thinking about how human-human relationship (community development) and human-nature relationship (sustainable development) have some natural differences. One tends to ve social science/humanistic driven while the other is scientific driven. I argue that some community development tools need to be consciously integrated to the efforts of promoting sustainable behaviors when addressing the increasingly complex environmental problems. But will only be successful if it is framed as a collaborative action as opposed to individual action; thus, collective behavior change as opposed to individual behavior change. How the spirit of collective action in community development be integrated in environmentalism, in practice.
to get to the goal, you gotta dance with the wicked
This reassures me that nothing is simple. When it looks simple (the problem you are trying to solve), then it highly likely that you see it wrong.
safer to be wrong in a group than to be right alone
It is not easy to make a difference and create change. Empowering a group of people for actions will have to deal with existing power that may collectively resist to change.
Thinking outside the box may no longer relevant when everyone has a different size of boxes
This is just reality that every individuals has their own frames when it comes to see a problem. This quote encourages us to always see a problem through the lens of diversity.
Being flexible can be interpreted in many different ways. As a graduate student and a lead-instructor in a few different collaborative projects, I could offer some thoughts.
Continue reading Being flexible as an individual and leader
This has been long overdue, but I am happy to share that I have been offered a position as a Public Humanities Fellow with the Center for the Humanities, UW-Madison. The fellowship is a part of the center’s Engaging the Humanities, a multiyear project supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. My fellowship will partner with the FairShare CSA Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. More details about this fellowship is available.
Continue reading New Exciting Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture