book cover of What Teaching Looks Like
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ISBN: 978-1-951414-07-8

June 2022

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July 2022

Today’s colleges and universities are not bound by their physical constraints; students and teachers are frequently interacting in deep and meaningful ways with their communities. This chapter explores examples of the increasing importance of programs that extend beyond campus borders, such as service and community-based learning, where students become partners and collaborators with their local communities. Not only do these deep connections help demonstrate the immediate value of education; they also contribute to students’ preparation for meaningful lives, careers, and ongoing learning. However, such forms of interaction are not without challenges; the photographs and discussion in this chapter highlight the complexities of equity-oriented partnerships, the processes involved in students learning and adopting professional ways of being, and the importance of awareness of identities and privilege in community-based learning. As with other forms of teaching and learning, the behind-the-scenes, often invisible work surrounding community partnerships comes into view.

Discussion Questions

Questions for faculty and teaching assistants

  • If you have been involved in service, community-based, or community-engaged learning, what aspects of the photographs in this chapter resonate as signature teaching practices associated with these forms of learning?
  • If you have not been involved in community-engaged learning, but are considering it, what do the photographs communicate to you about priorities in the design of service learning experiences?

Questions for instructional, academic, and faculty developers

  • If your campus includes service learning or similar programs or opportunities, how are those activities made visible to people on campus? To people in the community?
  • How might you use photographs of community-based learning to speak with faculty about this teaching method?
  • What do these photographs suggest in terms of the supports faculty and teaching assistants require to successfully incorporate service learning and community-based learning into their courses?

Questions for other staff and administrators

  • How does your institution ensure adequate support for service learning and community-based learning? How do you represent and celebrate the work behind the service learning?
  • How are service learning and community-based learning the shared responsibility of academic and student affairs? What roles does each play in the implementation of these programs at your institution?

Questions for everyone

  • What locations, formats, and students do you imagine when you picture higher education? How do the photographs in this chapter align with or challenge your conceptions?