In partnership with California Campus Compact, the Service Learning Program at Palomar College designed a one day workshop to educate faculty about innovative ways to design and incorporate service learning in their classes. 11 faculty from Palomar joined and according to Kathleen Grove it was fabulous, educational, and inspiring! (And you know she’s right!).
The speaker, Tania Mitchell, led a discussion of critical service learning; an approach that “embraces the political nature of service and seeks social justice” and seeks to not only have students participate in communities, but to transform them as “engaged and active citizens”. The format of the workshop moved from brief presentations of key points to small group activities in which participants could analyze and discuss their own practices as individuals and institutions.
The workshop was held at the World Beat Center, a non-profit multi-cultural arts organization in Balboa Park. They sponsor a wide variety of events and have many opportunities for participation and volunteering. The site was chosen as a way to highlight the need to move our service learning pedagogy into the community. Not only did workshop participants get to experience the center and it’s adjoining garden, but the co-founder of the World Beat Center cooked Jamaican curry for our lunch.
This workshop is part of series of presentations on service learning sponsored by a regional consortium of SL programs throughout San Diego County. The next event, “High Impact Practices” will be January 31 at UCSD’s Cross-Cultural Center.