Journal writing has become a very popular educational tool — so much so that when one announces that students will be keeping a journal, a common groan often rises from the class. While the instructor believes that the unstructured, personalized writing that characterizes journaling can help students learn subjects as varied as literature and psychology, we are even more committed to journal writing as a key component of experiential learning. In experiential learning you are both a participant and observer.
As a participant you will be contributing to the organization in which you are placed and learning new skills. But this is not what makes the experience worthy of academic credit. The academic component of your community service results from your ability to systematically observe what is going on around you.
This requires a kind of mental gymnastics that does not come without training and tools. A well- written journal is a tool, which helps you practice the quick movements back and forth from the environment in which you are working to the abstract generalizations you have read or heard in class.
As with any tool, beneficial use of a journal takes practice. You must force yourself to just start writing. You should write an entry for each day you attend your community service and it should be written immediately upon leaving the community service.
At the risk of taking the spontaneity out of it, here are some tips on keeping a journal during your community service. A journal is not a diary — you are not merely recounting the happenings of the day. Your entries, to be sure are based on the activities of the day, but they are more.
Below are several ways in which you can move beyond a mere chronology of events. Detailed description as if to an outsider. Often you will use your journal to record detailed descriptions of some aspect of your internship environment, whether physical, behavioral, or organizational.
When you write them, you will not have a clear idea of what you will make of these details, but you will sense that they might be important later. These descriptions should sound as if you were describing them to someone who was never there. At times you will want to speculate as to why something that you have observed firsthand is as it is. Journals allow you to change your mind. Less often you can use your journal to make judgments about something in your community service environment.
These judgments will help you learn about yourself, your values and your limits. Journals allow you to speak your mind. Journals are very private documents. You should write the entries each day you perform your community service, but you should write them after you have left the placement. You might want to take some notes during the day, but do not make your colleagues at the placement nervous or curious by taking frequent breaks to write in your journal.
Do not let colleagues read your journal. When you hand in your journal, only the instructor will read your journal and the contents will not be shared with anyone else. You should read and reread your entries so that you can see your own development over the course of the semester.
You should use the data you have recorded in your journal in writing your paper. So, buy a notebook or start a computer file. Have an entry for each day you attended your placement. Each entry should be at least a page or two in length. Write your first entry on the process of finding your placement. Write your second entry on your first impressions at your placement. Then take off on your own. Community service, in itself, can be meaningful, pointless, or harmful.
Reflection is the key to getting meaning from your service experience. A process by which service-learners think critically about their experiences. Reflection can happen through writing, speaking, listening, and reading about the service experiences. Why is reflection important? Learning happens through a mix of theory and practice, thought and action, observation and interaction.
It allows students to learn from themselves. Names have been changed in excerpts from Reflection Journals to protect confidentiality. Maybe I am that way now and have yet to realize it, because my friends and colleagues are too kind to me to point me to the obvious. I carried on a delightful conversation with Louise and Ernestine aka Ernie. I talked — Louise talked and how we laughed like two olds friends — yet my conversation with her was baffling to me to say the least.
It centered around three key topics. The first involved whatever was the topic of conversation — popcorn, root beer, weather. The root beer is really good, this popcorn is really, really good, the weather is very good. I felt Louise was better connected with the music than the real world around her. I could not fathom the meows, yet I knew that they meant something mighty important to Louise.
Ernie was fairly simplistic. Yes, I could relate to Ernie because she was from Cleburne, from Cleburne, from Cleburne — interesting how your own mortality and fragility can rise up so unexpectedly and slap you in the face. There, but for the grace of God, go I. As the afternoon slipped away for a time-conscious soul, I said my goodbyes to Louise and Ernie and left knowing that they touched me far more than I had touched them.
I told them that I loved them as I left to return to camp — perhaps being overly concerned that my last parting message was one of love and faith because understanding their disease seemed so beyond my human ability. Now I sit in my room at the church camp where we are holding the Student Leadership Retreat and ask myself the question — dear Lord, how am I to reach Louise and Ernie, how am I to touch them, how am I to let them know they are loved.
Today I got to really to really help people. It was such a thrill to use my knowledge to really help people. As in traditional internships, students are charged with producing a body of work that is of value to the community or site. However, unlike traditional internships, service internships have on-going faculty-guided reflection to challenge the students to analyze their new experiences using discipline-based theories.
Service internships focus on reciprocity: Community-based action research is similar to an independent study option for the student who is highly experienced in community work. This approach can be effective with small classes or groups of students. In this model, students work closely with faculty members to learn research methodology while serving as advocates for communities. This model assumes that students are or can be trained to be competent in time management and can negotiate diverse communities.
The course instructor serves as the advisor for the directed study option. Such arrangements require departmental approval and formal student registration. There are many ways to integrate community engagement into an existing course, depending on the learning goals, the size of the class, the academic preparation of the students, and the community partnership or project type.
Below are some general tips to consider as you begin: What is Service Learning or Community Engagement? Discipline-Based Model In this model, students are expected to have a presence in the community throughout the semester and reflect on their experiences regularly. Capstone Course Model These courses are generally designed for majors and minors in a given discipline and are offered almost exclusively to students in their final year. Service Internship Model This approach asks students to work as many as 10 to 20 hours a week in a community setting.
Undergrad Community-Based Action Research.
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Reflection Paper Helping out others through community service has made me learn so much about others as well as myself. Being a host for a group of foreign/5(1).
Final Reflection Paper. I have had the opportunity to volunteer for the last several weeks. I had never really volunteered before, so I knew that this was my opportunity to do some community service to help others. I have found through the experience that I really like to volunteer, so in the near. Free Essay: The thought of community service was a bore to me before I began my volunteer work. I dreaded starting my community service although I knew I had.
Free community service papers, essays, and research papers. Community Service Experience Paper] Free Essays words | (1 pages) | Preview. Community Service Project Reflection - The thought of community service was a bore to me before I began my volunteer work. I dreaded starting my community service although I knew I had to . Read this Literature Essay and over 88, other research documents. Community Service Reflection Paper. For my community service, I performed one major job. I played piano for the residents at the Longview Nursing Home/5(1).