This compact, accessibly written text prepares students for their experience of community-based learning. It is designed for students to read and reflect on independently or to foster discussion in class on their motivations and dispositions toward community engagement and service learning. It prepares students to work with diverse individuals, groups, and organizations that may be outside their prior experience. Faculty can use the book as a tool to deepen the educational experience of the course and enrich community engagement. This text is a guide to what’s involved in community-engaged learning, from understanding the pervasiveness of social, economic and environmental problems, to learning about how individuals and organizations in communities work to overcome them. Students will discover through a process of reflection how service connects to personal development and the content of their courses, builds their ability to engage with people different from themselves, and develops new life skills, all in the context of working with communities to overcome systemic injustice.Critical questions woven into each chapter prompt students to reflect on ideas and perspectives about social justice, community development, and their role in fostering them.The book concludes with case studies of students who have experienced the transformative power of community-engaged learning. The stories illustrate common themes inherent in the student experience, including listening to understand, challenging stereotypes, learning the nature of their role, and seeing the world through a new lens.A special feature of this book is the embedded QR codes that provide access, as students read the text, to online resources, and original and public videos that explore particular themes or perspectives more deeply. The authors also include text directed to faculty to provide ideas about framing their community-engaged course and integrating the book.
Foreword—Tania D. Mitchell Acknowledgements Introduction Intentions. The Role of the Student Companion in Community-Engaged Learning1. Imperatives. Why We Do Community-Engaged Learning 2. Benefits. What We Gain From Community-Engaged Learning 3. Dispositions. Who Are We Called to Be as Community-Engaged Learners 4. Responsibilities. What We Need to Do as Community-Engaged Learners 5. Transformations. How Community-Engaged Learning Changes Us Afterword—Chris Nayve A Letter to our Faculty Colleagues References About the Authors Index
"Engaging students in a familiar voice and pulling them into deeper conversation through embedded digital content, The Student Companion walks students through decades of wisdom and insight about community engagement. For students, the book can be a macro-reflection - encouraging careful critical examination of engagement while honoring the challenging emotional terrain and power dynamics embedded, yet often ignored, in community engagement. Most importantly the volume honors the beauty, complexity, and strength of communities as rich resources for the world, and for students. The Companion is a key resource for students and higher education."
Mathew Johnson, Associate Dean of the College for Engaged Scholarship
Executive Director of the Howard R. Swearer Center, Brown University
"If Thich Nhat Hanh, Parker Palmer, adrienne maree brown, and Nadinne Cruz had a dinner party about community engagement and higher education, this book might be a map of that imagined conversation. This book provides an important container for students, faculty, and community partners to grapple with the complexities and promise of community-engaged learning: intellectual rigor, ethical relationships, different kinds of knowledges, and the unfolding process of learning with and across differences.
In an accessible yet nuanced way, the authors provide scaffolding on how to avoid the intellectual potholes of community-engaged learning (e.g. us/them, good/bad, cognitive/affective, thinking/doing, listening/responding, professionalism/humility, goals/process).
The authors skillfully guide readers through the dialogical process of community-based-learning as an authentic, courageous, and conscientious approach to intellectual inquiry."
Kathleen S. Yep, Associate Dean of Faculty in Academic Affairs Professor, Asian American Studies
"This book is a powerful tool for the field and for inviting students to be community engaged learners. We’ve been waiting for a tool like this to use with students. This book is a guide, a companion, and a way to prepare students to be engaged in the community in critical ways that address the macro and micro issues that we confront in community engaged learning and social change."
Marisol Morales, Vice-President for Network Leadership
“The authors face head on the most urgent issues that affect communities, and encourage us to embrace the notion that it is through reciprocal relationships that one earns the privilege of working alongside leaders in the community not as saviors but as partners. As you begin your journey in the community, this book will serve as a meditative companion and roadmap. When used as a guide, this book will help you develop a daily practice of discovering assets in yourself and your community, and lead you to a destination that experiences community engagement as ‘desire-centered’ work."
Chris Nayve, Associate Vice President for Community Engagement & Anchor Initiatives
Mulvaney Center, University of San Diego