Title

What It Really Means to Learn While Serving

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Family & Community

Relevance

This poster presentation addresses the conference strand: Family & Community. It discusses the partnership and service learning experiences of pre-service teachers working with a high-poverty population of students to provide afterschool tutoring support and enrichment activities. The pre-service teachers’ attitudes and outcomes of the service learning experience are discussed. In addition, the educational, social and emotional benefits to both the pre-service teachers and afterschool students are discussed.

Brief Program Description

This presentation describes pre-service teachers’ service learning experiences. Interview and survey data of the pre-service teachers’ experiences, pre and post expectations and attitudes toward the service learning experiences will be presented. Those interested in facilitating or participating in service learning activities are encouraged to attend.

Summary

This presentation describes the experiences of pre-service teachers’ engagement in a service learning project. Pre-service teachers enrolled in this particular Social Studies methods course were required to participate in a service learning component in addition to their coursework and school practicum assignments. In an effort to connect Georgia State students with nearby high needs communities and engage students in culturally relevant and social justice oriented activities, the course instructor and students provided tutoring and enrichment activities for students attending afterschool programs at a local recreation center located within the Pittsburgh community, a local predominantly African American, low socioeconomic, Atlanta neighborhood approximately five miles from the Georgia State University campus. This presentation will detail the class service learning projects from planning to implementation. Pre-service teachers’ experiences, pre and post expectations and attitudes will be discussed. The data findings from interviews and class surveys and formal university evaluations indicate that pre-service teachers’ experienced growth in their understanding of the need to provide equitable educational opportunities for all students and to create culturally relevant learning experiences for students from background and cultures not their own. The pre-service teachers also enjoyed participating in the service learning project and stated that they would incorporate service learning into their classroom instruction. In addition, pre-service teachers’ stated that this experiential style of learning through a service provided more authentic learning experiences compared to their previous classes. The pre-service teachers also stated that they would continue to engage in service learning activities beyond their current experience. This presentation aims to present the educative benefits of service learning and to encourage students, teachers, and professors to incorporate service learning within their instruction and practice.

Evidence

This presentation aligns with research that indicates that service learning can be a useful approach for preparing multicultural and culturally competent teachers. When teachers are provided opportunities to engage in learning experiences with students and people from culturally diverse backgrounds, their understanding and ability to provide instructional practices that are culturally relevant and equitable is increased. The current inequitable educational landscape and achievement gaps that exists in our country today, indicates that more instruction that is culturally relevant and address the needs of diverse learners is needed within the classroom. Engaging in instructional activities and service learning is one way to equip teachers with diverse experiences that will aid in their implementation of effective classroom instruction for all students, address some of the inequities within the educational system and work for social justice within their classrooms (Baldwin et. al, 2007; Karayan & Gathercoal, 2005) Baldwin, S., Buchanan, A., Rudisill, M. (2007). What teacher candidates learned about diversity, social justice and themselves from service learning experiences. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(4), 315-327. Karyan, S. & Gathercoal, P. (2005). Assessing service learning in teacher education. Teacher Education Quarterly, 32(3), 79-92.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Chantee L. Earl is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Georgia State University. A former high and middle school social studies teacher, Chantee Earl has over 10 years of classroom teaching experience. Her research focus and instruction centers on African American educators, urban education, culturally relevant pedagogy, and critical race studies in education.

Keyword Descriptors

Service learning, culturally relevant pedagogy, social justice pedagogy, urban education

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

What It Really Means to Learn While Serving

Harborside Center East and West

This presentation describes pre-service teachers’ service learning experiences. Interview and survey data of the pre-service teachers’ experiences, pre and post expectations and attitudes toward the service learning experiences will be presented. Those interested in facilitating or participating in service learning activities are encouraged to attend.