Incorporating service learning opportunities into classroom instruction has been well documented as a successful teaching strategy in the literature. For example, service learning has been linked to outcomes ranging from increased student self esteem to enhanced critical thinking skills. Service learning provides an opportunity for reflection and community engagement in addition to classroom teaching and learning. This approach ultimately fosters a sense of community responsibility and encourages lifelong community engagement. In other words, when students are involved in service learning, they develop life skills that will benefit them well into the future. This oral presentation will introduce 1) a redesigned Sustainable Living mixed undergraduate/graduate service learning course offered at a major Land-Grant university, 2) key service learning strategies that have and have not worked well in the classroom, and 3) student life-skill assessment results from a post-then-pre assessment administered during the course. The Sustainable Living course to be discussed requires students to negotiate and collaborate with stakeholders in attempt to foster campus-wide lasting pro environmental change. Students report regularly to stakeholders, foster pro environmental change using sustainability theory and social marketing techniques, advertise and celebrate their accomplishments via an on-campus student sustainability fair designed by students, and publish the results of their efforts both academically and via a campus sustainability website. This presentation will benefit anyone seeking to learn about different approaches to service learning in the classroom, helping students become environmental leaders fostering pro environmental change, in-class research regarding life-skills gained through service learning, and candid experiences with service learning failures and successes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/roslynn_brain/20/