Teacher Guide To Service-Learning

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					                                        We Inspire Learning.
                Minneapolis Public Schools

     Teacher Guide
  To Service-Learning

                          North High School – Photo by Minneapolis Community Education

                                   Produced with support from:

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning            -1-                                     1/13/06
                                    Minneapolis Public Schools

      Teacher Guide to Service-Learning
Service-learning has powerful potential to engage students, and thereby to strengthen student participation
and academic achievement. This guide aims to help teachers and other staff to develop and sustain
effective service-learning programs.

Part I: The Fundamentals
         A primer on service-learning based on two decades of research and experience.

A. Definition of Service-Learning                                                                        3
         Learn to distinguish community service from true service-learning.
B. Ten Core Components of Service-Learning                                                               5
         Become familiar with the components needed for success.
C. Service-Learning Fits MPS Mission, Goals, and Principles                                              6
         Identify ways that service-learning can reinforce district purpose and goals.
D. Service-Learning Takes Many Forms                                                                     7
         Explore the wide range of programs on the service-learning continuum.
E. Benefits of Service-Learning                                                                          8
         Choose the priority reasons to implement service-learning.
         Access a brief summary of what service-learning can accomplish.

Part II: Getting Started

F. Steps to Integrate Service-Learning into Curriculum: Multiple Paths to Success                        9
         Choose the most promising strategy(ies) to implement service-learning.
G. Service-Learning Links to Academics & Standards                                                      10
         Find new ideas to help students meet Minnesota Standards through service-learning.
H. Assessing Learning through Service                                                                   11
         Select a strategy and tools to assess students’ service efforts.
I.   Reflecting on Service-Learning Experiences                                                         13
         Review a range of strategies and tools to tie service experiences back to class.
J.   Minneapolis Public Schools Service-Learning Lesson Planning Form                                   17
         Use this simple worksheet to help design a service-learning lesson.

MPS Service-Learning Resource List                                                                      18
Thank-you!                                                                                              19

Appendix A                                                                                              20
   - Desirable Youth Outcomes of Youth Development

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                        A. Definition of Service-Learning

Service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students apply
knowledge, critical thinking and good judgment to address genuine community needs.
                                        - Minnesota Department of Education

Cleaning up the riverbank is SERVICE.

A Biology class studying examples of aquatic life under a
microscope is LEARNING.

Biology students studying how pollution impacts wildlife
and people, analyzing samples of aquatic life from
Minneapolis lakes and streams, presenting findings about
the samples to the watershed district and the public,
organizing a clean-up, and reflecting on the importance of
civic action is one example of SERVICE-LEARNING.1
                                                                            Earth Day Clean-Up, Pratt School,
                                                                   Photo by Minneapolis Community Education

The Face of Service-Learning in Minneapolis:
Jefferson Elementary School
      As part of Diversity Month events, older students read about and studied how different cultures
      resolve differences. Then they organized presentations on conflict resolution for the younger students
      in the building. The older students also tutored and helped to organize celebrations of art and music.

North High School
      As part of their study of civics and leadership, 9th Grade Social Studies classes studied local issues.
      In addition to readings, speakers, and class discussion, each class organized a service-learning project.
      One group prepared lunch for homeless guests of the Sabathani Food Kitchen. Another class
      organized a toy drive for children at the Harriet Tubman Center, a shelter for abused women and
      children. Students visited the shelter to gain a clearer understanding of the families it serves. Yet
      another class organized a public discussion between a police officer, a gang task force leader, and a
      former gang member.

Roosevelt High School
      Health students researched nutrition and public health issues. Then they organized an engaging and
      educational Health Fair for fellow students and the community.

          Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.
                                                     - Martin Luther King Jr.

    Acknowledgement for example to NYLC and Cairn & Associates.
MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning               -3-                                       1/13/06
                                            1993 National and Community Service Act
                                                    Defines Service-Learning
                                               A method under which students or participants learn
                                           and develop through active participation in thoughtfully
                                           organized service that—

                                         1) Is conducted in and meets the needs of a community and
                                            is coordinated with an elementary school, secondary
                                            school, institution of higher education, or community
                                            service program, and with the community;

                                         2) Helps foster civic responsibility;

                                         3) Is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum
                                            of the students or the educational components of the
                                            community service program in which the participants are
                                            enrolled; and

                                         4) Includes structured time for the students and participants
                                            to reflect on the service experience.

Seward Montessori first grader
     works on hunger project.
     Photo by Henry Althoen.

 MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning               -4-                                 1/13/06
         B. Ten Core Components of Service-Learning2

1) Student Voice
Students are fully involved in identifying and planning—as well as in serving. They gain ownership and
internalize the learning process as they connect emotions to learning.

2) Integrated Curriculum
Service meets learner outcomes and objectives from the academic disciplines. Students understand why
they are learning as well as what. Students learn through experience and application rather than by rote.
Service-learning enhances existing goals and programs of the school.

3) Academically and Developmentally Appropriate Service
Service-learning project tasks stretch students cognitively and socially.

4) Genuine Community Needs/Assets
Projects have clear goals and address genuine community needs. Students have opportunities to
experience community assets and varied perspectives. Students can see that everyone gains from service.

5) Partnerships
Partnerships feature solid communication. Community partners have adequate capacity to work with
students on jointly determined needs, and to involve students in various levels of leadership.

6) Program Evaluation
Programs evaluate impacts on students and community. Evaluation measures accomplishments and
progress toward goals—and investigates ways to improve program quality.

7) Student Assessment
Assessment strategies enhance student learning as they evaluate and document how well students have
met content and skills standards.

8) Community Inclusion (Diversity)
Identification and definition of projects involves the community, and is respectful of cultural and ethnic
mores. Service-learning programs value diversity through participants, practice, and outcomes.

9) Preparation
In preparation for service, students gain understanding of their roles and a sensitivity to the people with
whom they will be serving, as well as all necessary skills, information, and safety precautions.

10) Reflection
Critical thinking helps students internalize learning from all parts of the service experience. Thus
reflection activities occur before, during and after service. Reflection includes celebration and
acknowledgment of student achievement.

 Adapted 2004 from “Essential Elements of Effective Service-Learning Practice,” 1998, National Youth
Leadership Council, St. Paul, Minnesota. The 38-page “Elements” features a detailed rubric of
benchmarks to guide practice. For ordering information see www.nylc.org or call (800) 366-6952.

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                           C. Service-Learning Fits MPS
                           Mission, Goals, and Principles
The Minneapolis Public Schools mission is to ensure that all students learn. We support
their growth into knowledgeable, skilled and confident citizens capable of succeeding in their
work, personal and family lives into the 21st Century.
The District Improvement Agenda includes four main goals:
1. Enrich and Accelerate Academic Achievement for All Students.
2. Welcome and Engage Students, Families and Community in Education.
3. Implement Accountability Systems for Providing, Assessing and Supporting Quality Instruction.
4. Ensure Effective and Integrated Management of the Business Enterprise.
                                        - Adopted by the Minneapolis Board of Education 6/25/02

                              Goals of the Educational Program
                                        Adopted by the Minneapolis Board of Education, 4/25/67.

Students of the Minneapolis Public Schools, upon graduation, will possess the knowledge, skills and
behaviors necessary to succeed in their adult lives. To see that this is accomplished, the Minneapolis
Public Schools accepts responsibility for assuring that each graduate demonstrates the qualities of a:
Complex Thinker
    Each student will demonstrate characteristics of a creative, flexible, and complex thinker by
    identifying and using resources for problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking.
Skilled Communicator
    Each student will communicate effectively with words, numbers, visuals, sounds and symbols, using
    technology to enhance personal and interpersonal skills.
Responsible Citizen
    Each student will demonstrate the knowledge and skills to participate collaboratively as a citizen in a
    diverse, interdependent, and evolving society (one that is in the process of becoming multicultural,
    gender-fair, disability aware).
Self-Directed Adult
    Each student will exhibit the skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed for life-long planning in the areas
    of personal, career, and leisure time development, and will assume responsibility for physical,
    intellectual, and emotional well-being.
Community Contributor
    Each student will contribute to the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of local and global
The Minneapolis Public Schools will take the initiative to develop collaboratives with other groups and
agencies to assure that students meet these outcomes.

MPS Middle School Platform includes:
    Belief Statement #8: Communities and schools are partners in educating young adolescents.
    Therefore we will
    - Embed service-learning into the curriculum....

MPS High School Platform commits MPS to:
•   Increase opportunities for learning outside of school walls and school schedules. (Principle 1)
•   Connect learning to real-life applications of knowledge and skills to help students link their education
    to the future and to community expectations and standards. (Principle 4)
•   Engage students in active and hands-on learning experiences through a wide variety of instructional
    strategies. (Principle 5)
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                 D. Service-Learning Takes Many Forms

        Co-curricular                   >>>      Greater Curricular Integration
  Student                Volunteer      Community       Community       School-wide         Integrated
Organizations            Clearing-       Service/        Service          Theme           into Courses
                          house         Leadership       Course

  Student Organizations:                                      and meet in a reflective seminar one or
     Honors Society, vocational education and                 two days. Some courses are offered as a
     many other groups regularly do                           two hour block or next to a study hall or
     community service projects. Some form                    lunch.
     around substance abuse prevention
     (SADD) or other issues. Most do group                School-wide Project Theme:
     projects.                                               Every April during National Youth
                                                             Service Day schools throughout MPS
  Volunteer Clearinghouse:                                   mobilize- for service-learning projects.
     A coordinator helps recruit individual                  Schools may integrate service-learning
     students for service placements in                      into a number of courses around a theme
     agencies. Modeled after community-                      such as health care or citizenship (as in a
     based volunteer centers.                                small learning community).
                                                             Several high school Small Learning
  Independent Community                                      Communities in Minneapolis feature
     Service/Leadership Credit:                              service-learning.
     With prior approval, MPS students may
     receive up to two elective, ungraded                 Integrated into Courses:
     credits (60 hours per credit) during high                Service-learning can create a real-world
     school. Documentation of service may                     laboratory for any course by including
     include a journal, a report, notes from                  service appropriate to the course of study,
     meetings, a copy of a presentation, or                   for example: health - serve in a hospital,
     other agreed-upon materials.                             English - publish a community history or
     Student council or other school or                       newspaper, or biology - monitor and clean
     community committee participation also                   up a stream. Does not require major
     qualifies for this credit.                               schedule changes or school restructuring,
                                                              but teachers must incorporate service-
  Community Service Course:                                   learning activities while meeting standards
     Some school districts offer elective                     and other requirements. (See examples on
     courses where students serve in the                      page 3 above.)
     community three or four days per week

                 Projects                          or                 Placements
Individuals or groups research, plan and organize     Individuals or small groups fill an agency’s
their own service initiative with agencies or         existing volunteer slots for a set number hours
independently. Students can explore their ideas       each week. Students in placements often develop
and gain practical organizational and problem-        close relationships and experience one site in
solving experience. Projects allow students to        depth. Older students work better in individual
sample a variety of service experiences.              placements.
      In both projects and placements students apply classroom learning. Conversely, students use
              experiences from the field to challenge thinking and deepen classroom study.
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                           E. Benefits of Service-Learning
If a program follows principles of good practice for service-learning (such as those in section “B” above)
participants can expect some of the following benefits.

    •    Apply academic and social skills and knowledge in real-world settings
    •    Gain relevant and exciting new skills, information and experiences hands-on
    •    Explore careers and gain work-related skills
    •    Develop close relationships with peers and adults
    •    Become active citizens who exercise leadership
    •    Make a difference – and improve self-worth based on real accomplishment

    •    Students become motivated and active learners
    •    Build positive relationships with the community
    •    Improve public image of schools and of youth
    •    Teachers work as colleagues with peers and community leaders

    •    Students provide needed service
    •    Students become active stakeholders in the community, now and in the future
    •    Schools become resources to the whole community

Minneapolis Public Schools has a simple student pre-post-test for significant service-learning
experiences. (See appendices.)

Research says...
•   Service-learning helps students acquire a broad range of academic skills and knowledge. Students
    who participate in service learning are more engaged in their studies and more motivated to learn.
    Service learning is associated with increased student attendance.

•   Service-learning helps to develop students’ sense of civic and social responsibility and their
    citizenship skills. Service learning provides opportunities for students to become active, positive
    contributors to society.

•   Service-learning has a positive effect on the personal development of youth. Students who participate
    in service-learning are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Service-learning has a positive effect
    on students’ interpersonal development and the ability to relate to culturally diverse groups. Service-
    learning helps students become more knowledgeable and realistic about careers. Service-results in
    greater mutual respect between teachers and students.

Billig, Shelley H. “The Impacts of Service-Learning on Youth, Schools and Communities: Research on
K-12 School-Based Service-Learning, 1990–1999.” Denver, Colorado: 2000

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             F. Steps to Integrate Service-Learning into
              Curriculum: Multiple Paths to Success3
Modify Existing Program or Activity to Make it Service-Learning
• Identify an existing service project or community-based activity.
• Develop learning opportunities that connect with existing curriculum.
Example: Canned Food Drive
       Study nutrition. Contact receiving agency to find out what food is needed. Visit a food bank or
       welfare agency. Students plan drive. Educate community about hunger.

Extend Existing Curriculum to Make it Service-Learning
• Identify the standard or specific content and skill areas to be addressed.
• Select a service-learning project that will apply, extend, or reinforce classroom lessons.
Example: Water Quality Monitoring
       Students learn about healthy ecosystems, how to use biological keys, and how to structure a field
       study. They collect and analyze samples from lakes and streams. They report data to Hennepin
       County and watershed district, and educate the public on ways to protect lakes and streams.

Develop Unit — Possibly Interdisciplinary — with Theme Related to Service
• Choose a theme based on interest of staff, students, and community.
• Brainstorm curriculum connections.
• Develop service-learning projects in response to theme and to community need.
Example: Keeping Ourselves Healthy
       Identify theme. Teacher(s) and students brainstorm curriculum connections to theme: Survey and
       analyze nutrition data. Read health information. Write pamphlets. Design posters or video.
       Create recipes. Make healthy snacks. Present skits on good nutrition. Organize a health fair.

Develop Service-Learning Response to a Need Identified by Students
• Students assess and catalogue their skills and interests.
• Students research community issues, needs and resources.
• Students develop service project in response.
• Teacher links project to classroom activities.
Example: School Safety
       Students decide to make school safer and more comfortable. They research data and talk to
       school and community leaders about existing efforts. Students decide to address illegal drugs.
       Teacher incorporates classroom content on health/statistics/writing/etc. Students develop peer
       education campaign and work with school counselors to create peer support groups for addicts.

Develop a Service-Learning Response to a Need Identified by Community
• Community asks for assistance.
• Teacher and community partners (and students) sit down to plan lessons.
Example: Tutoring
       Community Education and Rec Center asks teacher for help with after-school programs. Teacher
       and community center staff train students. Students sign up as tutors and classroom aides.
       Students create books and other tutoring aids.

 Adapted from “Establishing Curriculum Connections: Points of Departure” from Service-Learning in
Action, by Cathryn Berger Kaye (2000) www.abcdbooks.org.

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning         -9-                                        1/13/06
 G. Service-Learning Links to Academics & Standards
Service-learning can make academic content relevant to student interests. It offers students opportunities
to learn and/or apply content and skills from standards in real-world settings. The chart below offers
project ideas for students in each age group to show achievement of Minnesota Graduation Standards.

                          Grades K-3                            Grades 4-8                     Grades 9-12
Language             Make books for pre-school         Help make signs interpreting      Conduct a survey
Arts                   children                          natural or historic sites       Write letters for senior citizens
                     Read to preschool children        Produce a public service          Write a community history
                     Write and present skits on          announcement                    Write a guide to the
                       fire safety or recycling        Tutor primary school students       community for newcomers
                                                       Read and record articles for      Write articles for an
                                                         the blind                         organization’s newsletters
Social               Perform historical skits          Map community resources           Analyze air photos for wildfire
Studies              Participate in public             Create a newspaper explaining       vulnerability (Firewise)
                       celebrations of national          a world event                   Write and work for passage of
                       holidays                        Research and write about a          laws or ordinances
                     Send letters and artwork to         local historical event          Write grant proposals
                       soldiers                        Research and recommend            Organize a public issues forum
                     Collect money for                   solutions to community            on current events
                       community groups                  problems                        Write letters to the editor
Mathematics          Collect items for a food,         Calculate materials and space     Analyze an organization’s
                       clothing, or toy drive;           needed for garden or park         survey or other data
                       chart & publicize results       Organize a fundraiser and keep    Write a guide on community
                     Put up the class calendar           track of results                  demographics or resources
                     Make counting books for           Calculate conservation savings    Write an article explaining the
                       pre-school children             Tutor primary school students       math behind a public issue
Science              Plant native trees, grasses, or   Investigate environmental         Investigate environmental
                       flowers                           issues; promote solutions         issue, implement solution
                     Clean up a city park              Explain the science of a public   Monitor water and air quality;
                     Build a trash tree to educate       health issue                      report to agency
                       public about waste              Research, plan, and restore       Conduct energy audits
                     Decorate grocery bags with          habitat on public land          Teach science to young
                       waste reduction messages        Stencil storm drains                children or to the public
Arts                 Perform for community             Create skits or visual artwork    Produce a multi-generational
                       groups                            on respect and public safety      theater or choral
                     Make crafts with senior           Perform for a cultural festival     performance
                       citizens                        Produce photo essays about a      Teach classes through
                     Create artwork to decorate a        community issue and put           Community Education
                       public space                      them on the web                 Perform for community groups
Career and           Make posters introducing          Build specialized disability-     Use GPS to map community
Technical              local business and                adaptive equipment                resources
                       community leaders               Repair bicycles                   Teach computer use
Education            Put on a puppet show about        Paint or repair houses            Develop web sites for
                       different types of jobs         Produce promotional video           community groups
Health and           Make posters on healthy           Hold a health fair                Hold a blood drive
Physical               nutrition                       Organize a health campaign on     Educate peers about AIDS and
                     Demonstrate fun ways to             healthy diets                     STDs
Education              exercise                        Promote a community-based         Coach younger students
                     Cook healthy treats                 athletic teams                  Organize a walk-a-thon
World                Post words in other               Teach language lessons to         Translate materials
Languages              languages for common              primary school children         Develop curriculum
                       objects around school           Organize welcome for new          Make books for children in a
                     Perform at a cultural fair          immigrants                        foreign language

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning                  - 10 -                                           1/13/06
                H. Assessing Learning through Service4

     National Study Group on Service-Learning and Assessment (NSLAN)
                                               PLANNING STEPS
    1.        What do you want your students to know and be able to do?

    2.        What are the students’ questions, concerns, and issues?

    3.        What are the community’s questions, concerns, and issues?

    4.        How will you meet 1, 2, and 3? What instructional strategy will you use?

    5.        Learning Activity (Must involve significant content; engage the students; promote active

    6.        What products or performances will result from the learning activity? Which one(s) will be
              used as evidence of achieving 1, 2 and 3?

    7.        How will you rate or score the products or performances? What scoring guides will you use?

    8.        What tools will you use to measure the community impact as a result of the learning activity?

    9.        Teacher: Reflect on the process. How did this work? How will you use the results? What
              unanticipated outcomes resulted? How will this activity be linked to school/district
              assessment systems? What would you do differently next time?

         (NSLAN was a project of the Vermont Department of Education funded by the Corporation for National Service.)

Evidence of Learning                                              These include:
                                                                  • Products of service (e.g. photos, videos,
Service-learning projects can generate a wealth                      papers, journals, reports, artwork, etc.)
of products that demonstrate student learning. In                 • Performances (such as presentations by
the words of Kirk Schneidawind of St. Peter,                         students on their projects)
“You can’t assess everything.” An important                       • Direct observation (by teachers, site
choice about any service-learning project is to                      supervisors, clients, or peers)
determine what is important to assess.                            • Interviews (of individual students or groups
                                                                  • Self-assessment
Another important decision is to select the best                  • Peer assessment
methods for documenting evidence of learning.                     • Traditional assignments (such as research

 Material in this section comes from Assessing Learning through Service (1999) published by the
Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). A videotape of teachers demonstrating these methods is
also available from MDE. The study guide includes examples of assessment tools.
MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning                 - 11 -                                             1/13/06
Assessing Learning through Service continued.              Portfolios, a third popular tool of performance-
                                                           based assessment, help students gain awareness
                                                           of how they are learning. Most commonly
Rating Performance                                         known as tools to document growth over the
                                                           students’ entire school career, portfolios can also
Two powerful tools to communicate and to rate
                                                           help students see what they have learned through
the quality of service-learning performance are:
                                                           a specific service project.
•     Checklists - A list of criteria which
                                                           •    Portfolio - A purposeful, integrated
      describe a quality performance or product.
                                                                collection of student work that documents
                                                                progress over time or degree of proficiency.
•     Rubrics - Criteria for scoring or rating
      students’ performance. Typically, rubrics
      consist of a fixed measurement scale, often
      arranged on a grid, (e.g. a four point
      rubric), and a description of the
      qualities of the products or performances
      being measured for each score point.

         Relationship Between Tools of Performance-Based Assessment

    Document                                                   Communicate Standards
    Growth             Document Growth                         • Checklists -
    Throughout           Over Course                             Criteria for quality      Formative
    School                                                     • Rubrics -
                      • Portfolios -                                                       Assessment
    Years               Growth over project                      Levels of quality
    • Portfolios -         e.g. photograph
     - Transcripts        progress of work
                                                                           During Service
     - Lifework                                                         • Ongoing Feedback

                                                                          Document Evidence
                  Rate Performance Fairly                             • Products of Service -
                                                                        e.g. photos, videos, papers,
                        • Checklists -                                  journals, reports, artwork, etc.
                           Criteria for quality                       • Performances -
                        • Rubrics -                                   • Observation -
    Summative              Levels of quality                          • Interviews -
    Assessment                                                          Individuals or groups

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning             - 12 -                                        1/13/06
          I. Reflecting on Service-Learning Experiences
Structured reflection is essential to effective service-learning. Every teacher already employs reflection
methods. Yet service-learning is unique because of complex and often powerful interaction with the
wider community, high student responsibility, and a “learning-by-doing” methodology. This section aims
to expand the range of reflection tools during all points of service lessons.

                                                           Directed Writings
Books or quotations can raise important
questions and stimulate deep thinking and                  Journals help students explore the inner self.
exploration. Service-learning can make reading             Directed writing assignments hone critical
more relevant.                                             analysis. Directed writing may reinforce
                                                           academic content. Directed writings may be
                                                           graded for writing technique, as well as
                                                           reasoning and presentation of evidence.
                                                           Directed writing assignments might include:
Journals                                                   • Respond to a book, speaker, movie, work of
                                                               art, or activity.
There are many types of journals, each set up by           • Research a topic related to service. (e.g.
the teacher’s instructions. Some record detailed               Explore health insurance costs in relation to
observations in a disciplined way. Some help                   a health-related project).
students become aware of their own growth.                 • Apply concepts studied in class to situations
Most instill self-awareness.                                   encountered during service. (e.g. A civics
                                                               class could ask students to explain how
Teachers typically read and acknowledge                        structures of local government affect those
insightful journal entries, but do not evaluate                the program is supposed to help.)
writing technique. Open-ended directed
questions provoke further thought. (e.g.                   Expert Papers
“Describe your first reactions to the service
site.”) Grades may depend on regular and                   A student writes an essay explaining in depth
complete writing. Instructors date their                   some area of expertise developed through his or
comments. Students must give permission for                her service. (e.g. "Why Some Americans Live
entries to be copied or read to class.                     in the Streets," "Aging Gracefully: Options for
                                                           Retired Citizens in Our Community," or
Journals often fit one of three types:                     "Getting Around Town in a Wheelchair." Other
  Reactions, including feelings; reporting facts,          options include videos, photo essays, skits, or
      personal concerns, or issues;                        team-building games.
  Elaboration on an idea; expounding on an
      incident; comparisons or generalizations;
  Contemplations about oneself, one’s roles, or
      social or ethical issues
                 (adapted from Surbeck, 1991).

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning             - 13 -                                     1/13/06
Reflection continued.

                 Discussion                               or                     Dialogue
Discussion is closed. Participants in discussions         Dialogue is open. Participants in dialogue
present and defend opinions and beliefs. Each             exchange ideas. The goal is to hear and try to
person seeks to convince the others to accept their       understand differing points of view. Dialogue
view. Discussion clarifies positions and can aid          fosters exploration of ideas. Dialogue best
analysis.                                                 facilitates reflection.

Verbal Reflection                                              examine ideas in depth as the group gains
                                                               experience with group reflection techniques.
Expressing Feelings
                                                               Cognitive reflection works best with twelve to
Dialogue can deepen understanding. Explore                     fifteen students. Split a class using a
new ideas. Evaluate effectiveness. Address                     "fishbowl”: half the students speak while sitting
challenges. Plan. A team can talk through                      in a circle in the middle of the room. The others
frustrations, personal issues and service site                 observe from outside the circle.
problems. It can move beyond credit or blame
to work on functioning better as individuals and               Have two session leaders, a facilitator and a
as a team. Identify and understand feelings in a               commentator. One is primarily listening. The
cultural and personal context.                                 other is more directive. (Kennedy, 1991)

Student as Expert                                              A facilitator keeps dialogue open and relevant,
                                                               keeping things moving and making sure
Students each take a piece of the picture to                   everyone stays involved. Open-ended questions
research in depth and share. Students in                       and follow-up questions encourage deeper
placements become expert in the issues related                 thought, and move from personal feelings to
to their site. Students in projects become expert              general insights. With some coaching, students
in a particular area. (e.g. For a health fair, sub-            can take turns as facilitator.
groups might focus on speakers, promotion, site
arrangements, media relations or evaluation.) In               A commentator listens carefully and stops
class, student experts share information, solicit              discussion when opportunities arise to move
ideas, get input on plans and coordinate with                  from affective to cognitive learning. The
other student experts.                                         commentator uses "guideposts" or reflective
                                                               tools to focus attention on a specific cognitive
Reflection facilitates consensus building and                  skill (see box next page). He/she helps students
teaches democratic action. Students learn to                   to internalize ideas into a mental framework, to
respect and trust others as they practice both                 examine ideas more deeply, and to sort through
leading and following.                                         and choose possible solutions.

Cognitive Reflection                                           For an example of cognitive reflection see how a
                                                               group chooses a service project::
Regular cognitive reflection sessions help
students understand and practice critical thinking             1) Students begin by listing project ideas they
and problem-solving skills: categorizing,                         have identified through needs assessment
generalizing, analyzing and synthesizing.                         activities.
In initial sessions students share what has
happened in service settings. Later sessions

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning            - 14 -                                         1/13/06
2) Students then categorize projects using                 4) Students make inferences about the projects
   groupings such as issue or time commitment                 based on their analysis. What would happen
   and community need.                                        if our group did this project or that one?
3) Students analyze the lists and make sense of               Which will be most interesting? Which will
   them. What is the relationship between                     have the greatest impact on the community?
   project ideas and the issues they address?
   Which are most important?                               5) Students synthesize the discussion so far.
                                                              What are our choices? Which is best?

                               Tools for Cognitive Reflection
  • Explain to students the difference between discussion and dialogue.

  • Explain the difference between analytical and relational modes of thinking. In service-learning,
    students begin with direct experience rather than with a set of abstract facts. Students must learn to
    explore relationships between ideas and information gained through experience, and to use their
    newfound knowledge in practical problem-solving.

  • Build a structure for memory. Show students methods and techniques for remembering important
    ideas and information: associate and order information with rhymes, numbers, places or mnemonics;
    visioning ideas and information, especially when acquired in service settings. Students must be able
    to remember where they got information or ideas and be able to recall them as needed in reflection
    sessions, presentations, writing assignments, etc.

  • Categorize. Organizing observations, ideas and thoughts requires individuals and groups to
    examine and understand them. Categorization should be a constant.

  • Move from experience to the abstract. Facilitators and commentators both should seek constantly
    to move students from specific, isolated instances to abstract, generalizable issues.

  • Stretch and strengthen self-esteem and self-efficacy. Throughout reflection sessions, validate the
    importance of student experiences and ideas. As students engage in meaningful, productive
    discussion, their ideas take on importance.

  • Remind students of the difference between reflection and impulse. Students must get beyond
    saying and doing the first thing that comes into their heads. Help them stop, reflect, relate and talk
    through situations.

  • Celebrate the sounds of literary thought. At relevant points, read and talk about short quotations or
    passages from literature. Have students memorize important pieces.

  • Recognize independent thought which diverges from the group. When one student takes an
    antithetical position in a reflection session, defuse group hostility while keeping the individual in the
    group. Remind students that in reflective dialogue, the point is to understand, not necessarily to be

                                                           (adapted from Silcox, p. 67 and 83-84)

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning          - 15 -                                        1/13/06
Reflection continued.

Object Reflection                                        Words to Prompt Reflection:
Artwork or distinctive objects from a service site         •   Say more about that. Explain.
help students use sight and touch to draw out              •   Why do you think that happens?
ideas and extend understanding.                            •   How do you know? Give your evidence.
                                                           •   What is the connection between what you
Pass around the object. Ask students to examine                said and         ?
and silently try to identify it and its use. Then          •   What other explanation is there?
ask students to share their ideas, including               •   Who disagrees? Why do you disagree?
wrong guesses. With each idea, share some of               •   What would you like to see happen?
the story of the object, where it came from, what          •   What would you need to do to make
it is made of, what it is, how it is used, its                 happen?
history and its value to different people. (e.g. A
bed pan could stimulate discussion about
medical technology and skills, and feelings, such        Words to Affirm Participation:
as a loss of independence.)
                                                           • Take your time. Say more when you are
Group Activities/Games                                     • I like the way you said that. I like it when
                                                             the group talks this way.
Directed Activities                                        • That's a good question. We only learn
                                                             when we ask questions.
Activities nurture physical and verbal                     • Your comments are important.
participation in reflection and can stimulate
dialogue. Always debrief every activity.                                  (adapted from Silcox, p. 66)

Examples include role playing, audience
participation theater, initiative games                  Reflection Resources
(sometimes called challenge games), and topical
or issue-related games.                                    •    Kennedy, Mary. (1991.) "An Agenda for
                                                                Research on Teacher Learning," a special
Creative Activity                                               report from the National Center for Research
                                                                on Teacher Training, Michigan State
Working together to create an interpretive work
of art requires students to reflect deeply about           •    RMC Research Corporation. (2004).
their experiences in order to express thoughts                  Connecting Thinking and Action: Ideas for
and feelings. To edit a video for example,                      Service-Learning Reflection. Denver, CO.
students must understand what was important                     On-line free at www.servicelearning.org.
about the experience, and how they will
communicate it through music, script and                   •    Silcox, Harry C. (1993.) A How to Guide to
images.                                                         Reflection: Adding Cognitive Learning to
                                                                Community Service Programs. Brighton Press
                                                                Inc., for Pennsylvania Institute for
Paintings, drawings, poems, songs or sculptures                 Environmental and Community Service
may involve individuals or groups. Students                     Learning. Brighton Press Inc., 64 Lempa Rd.,
must discuss how, what and why they are                         Holland, PA 18966.
communicating through their art. A thoughtful,
persistent line of questioning can help students           •    Surbeck, Elaine, Eunhye Park Han and Joan E.
to reflect deeply and to focus their work.                      Moyer. (March, 1991) "Assessing Reflective
                                                                Responses in Journals," Educational
                                                                Leadership, 48, 6: 25-27.

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning           - 16 -                                       1/13/06
                              Minneapolis Public Schools
         Service-Learning Lesson Planning Form
Name                                            School Year ______                 Grade _____
School                                          Subject ___________           # Students _____
                                                                       # Adult Volunteers _____
a. Need Addressed                   f. Curriculum Matches             i. Products & Assessments

b. Service Provided

c. Population Served

d. Site/Community                   g. Standards & Objectives         j. Evaluation - Measures of
Partner(s)                                                            Success

e. Student Leadership Roles         h. Instructional Strategies       k. Reflection Activities

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning               - 17 -                               1/13/06
                    MPS Service-Learning Resource List

MPS Community Service/Leadership Elective Credits and Student Government
Pam Olson, Student Activities, Room 100, MPS, 807 NE Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 668-0157 Pam.Olson@mpls.k12.mn.us

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. Funded by the Corporation for National and Community
Service, the clearinghouse offers a vast and useful repository of on-line resources on a wide range of
practical topics from assessment tools and curriculum to inter-generational programs and tutoring
instruction for students. www.servicelearning.org You may also call toll free (866) 245-7378.

National Youth Leadership Council. Holds annual National Service-Learning Conference.

Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of
Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455. (612) 625-0142.
www.publicachievement.org Public Achievement is a youth civic engagement initiative organized out of
the Center for Democracy and Citizenship. The Public Achievement web site includes many resources
useful to teachers and others for civic engagement projects.

EcoEducation, Suite 375, 210 East 10th Street, St. Paul, MN 55101. (651) 222-7691.
www.ecoeducation.org. Provides support, structure, and curriculum for teachers implementing urban
environmental service-learning.

Minnesota Department of Children, Families & Learning. http://education.state.mn.us >> Education
Programs >> Adult and Career Education and Service-Learning Michelle Kamenov (651) 582-8434.
Funds Learn and Serve grant program at school district level. Holds bi-annual state conference.
Organizes a network of Peer Consultants for Service-Learning. One Peer Consultant, Michael
VanKeulen, is a high school teacher/director in Minneapolis. (612) 375-0700.

Volunteer Resource Center www.volunteertwincities.org Features an “Especially for Youth” page with
information including service opportunities and national service days.

Achieve!Minneapolis Foundation for the Minneapolis Public Schools. www.achieveminneapolis.org

Cairn & Associates, Rich and Susan Cairn. 3715 45th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55406. (612) 722-
5806. rcairn@ties2.net National experts in service-learning who are aiding MPS to strengthen its
service-learning programs.

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning          - 18 -                                      1/13/06

Rich Cairn, Cairn & Associates, Author

Content Reviewers
    •    Elaine Eschenbacher, Center for Democracy and Citizenship
    •    Christopher Feider, Eco Education
    •    Carole Klopp, National Youth Leadership Council
    •    Laura Matanah, Teacher, Ramsey Fine Arts
    •    Pam Olson, Student Activities, Minneapolis Public Schools
    •    Mike Van Keulen, High School Director, Volunteers of America Minnesota

Minneapolis Learn and Serve Advisory Committee
    •    Al Ickler, Community Education Manager, Minneapolis Community Education
    •    Hedy Walls, Minneapolis Public Schools, Safe and Drug-Free Schools
    •    Rich Cairn, Cairn & Associates (Contract Service-Learning Specialist)
    •    Brenda Eccleston, Minneapolis Community Education
    •    Elaine Eschenbacher, Center for Democracy and Citizenship
    •    Christopher Feider, Eco Education
    •    Bernard Gill, National Youth Leadership Council
    •    Amanda Hane, VISTA, Minneapolis Public Schools
    •    Carole Klopp, National Youth Leadership Council
    •    Beth Lasley, Community School Coordinator, North High School
    •    Jennifer Lick, Minneapolis Foundation
    •    Leon Oman, Minneapolis Community Education
    •    Jack Tamble, Director, Minneapolis Community Education
    •    Mike Van Keulen, High School Director, Volunteers of America Minnesota

Produced with support from:

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning       - 19 -                                 1/13/06
                                        Appendix A

MPS Teacher Guide to Service-Learning     - 20 -     1/13/06