Monday, December 16, 2013

Quotes from In The Service Of What? Kahne & Westhemier

            In this blog I will be discussing three quotes from the essay In The Service Of What? The Polities of Service Learning By Joseph Kahne and Joel Westhemier. I found this essay to be very interesting because it talks about the two different types of Service Learning. This essay also reminds me a lot of what we are doing for the FNED 346 course. The first quote I want to discuss is,

“These two service learning projects have much in common. Both provide authentic learning experiences. Reflection on matters of social concern, and opportunities for interdisciplinary study linked to curricular goals. Moreover, the goals of both projects have broad-based appeal. They stress the importance of compassion for those in need, and they encourage children and young adults to find ways to help.”

I choose this quote because I can agree with it. Either service learning a person decides to do there is something they can learn from it. Neither the “charity” nor “change” method for service learning is wrong. I favor the “change” method of service learning more because I feel like that is more depth to it. Sometimes I feel like both techniques from each method should be apply because then you can get the fully experience and see the difference between those two and which one you like better. I am also glad that both of the methods stress the importance about helping others.

Quote # 2

“In the intellectual domain, a service learning curriculum can further a number of goals. The ability of service learning curriculum to foster authentic, experience-based learning opportunities, to motivate students, to help students engage in higher-order thinking in contextually varied environments, and to promote interdisciplinary studies has led some, such as John Brisco, a leader in the field, to label service learning ‘the Trojan horse of school reform.’ The service component may help use get the support needed for implementation, he argues but its real impact is seen in its ability to promote powerful learning environments.”

I choose this quote because it related back to the first quote I discussed. Here I believe it goes into more and break down what service learning can do for students. I also think it stresses the fact of how service learning gives an “authentic and real experience. I like that Brisco said “promote powerful learning environments,” because I agree with that. I feel like service learning gives students the opportunity to kind of experience firsthand. I am the type of person who likes to learn things that’s hands-on. I also feel that the quote continue to stress that in service learning there will be some learning done.

Quote # 3

“Some of the middle school parents objected, saying that they were concerned for their children’s safety. In a written evaluation, the students said that they had imagined ‘horrifying children running around on a dirty campus.’ They had expected them to be ‘rude, tough noisy, and very unfriendly,’ and they even thought they would be ‘mean, gang-related blacks.’ One of the students wrote, ‘I was scared because my mom had told me it was a bad neighborhood and to be careful.’ After they returned, the students’ perspectives on these elementary school children had changed. They were ‘surprised at the children’s responsiveness and the attentiveness,’ they found the children to be ‘extremely polite and surprisingly friendly,’ and they discovered that they ‘listened well and had excellent behavior.’ One student wrote, ‘Everyone at the school had good manners, and I think more highly of [the neighborhood] now.’ The experiential and interpersonal components of service learning activities can achieve the first crucial step toward diminishing the sense of ‘otherness’ that often separates students—particularly privileged students—from those in need. In so doing, the potential to develop caring relationships is created.”

I choose this quote because I am glad that the students from the middle school had the opportunity to see for themselves how the so called “bad” elementary school is. It also reminded me about my FNED 346 course because for our service learning project we had to go to a Providence Public School. The Providence Public School District has some very diverse schools. I can recall when we had a class discussion people in the class kind of had the same reaction as the quote. From what they heard the schools were not good, the neighborhood is bad, and they thought the students were not going to behave. Then when they had a chance to go to the schools their thoughts had change about it. I also related and connected with this quote because I am a graduate of the Providence School System. I always went to the schools that people consider bad, scary or dangerous. Always being judge before somebody gets to know us or me in general. When I read this quote I just automatically thought to myself, “Don’t judge a book by it cover.” Reading this quote also reminded me about another essay I read in class, which is Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol. The children did not choose to grow up in that type of environment. Just because the neighborhood they are growing up in is bad does not mean they are bad. I thought about Kozol essay because here the students are being judge for the place they are attending school. It is like the students cannot pick and choose what school they go to.

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