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Developing a Model for Service
& Civic Engagement
BRIAN PERRY
EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY
BACKGROUND
 EKU
 Civic Engagement
 Offices
Regional Stewardship
 Service Learning
 Community Service (Student Life)

 Community Service
 4+ years
 Variety of Initiatives


Local projects, Alternative Break Program, Social Justice Film
Series
The ‘Hub’ for active citizenship on campus
THE QUESTION(S) / PROBLEM
 What’s our purpose?
 Active Citizenship!
 How do we know that students are becoming
civically engaged?

What is the (theoretical) basis for our programming?

How do we program for students at different levels of
engagement?

How do we assess the programs?
THE FOUNDATION: Generational
 Broadly
 Rise of service-learning in K-12

In the 20 year period from 1979 to 1999, the number of secondary schools
implementing service-learning jumped from 15% to 46% (Spring, Grimm, & Dietz,
2008)

The ‘9-11 Generation’
THE FOUNDATION: Theory
 Theory

Swartz’s (1977) model of altruistic helping behaviors



The model has four cognitive and affective phases, comprised of eight steps,
through which a person progresses, beginning with a recognition of need and
ending with overt behaviors.
Active Citizenship Continuum developed by Breakaway
Shiarella, McCarthy, and Tucker (2000)

Community Service Attitudes Scale (CSAS)
Swartz’s (1977) Model
 Phase 1. Activation steps: Perception of a need to respond.
 Awareness that others are in need.
 Perception that there are Actions that could relive the need.
 Recognition of one’s own Ability to do something to provide help.
 Feeling a sense of responsibility to become involved based on a sense of
Connectedness with the community or the people in need.
 Phase 2. Obligation step: Moral obligation to respond.
 Feeling a moral obligation to help generated through (a) personal or
situational Norms to help and (b) Empathy.
 Phase 3. Defense steps: Reassessment of potential responses.
 Assessment of (a) Costs and (b) probable outcomes (Benefits) of helping
 Reassessment and redefinition of the situation by denial of the reality
and Seriousness of the need and the responsibility to respond.
 Phase 4. Response step: Engage in helping behavior.
 Intention to engage in community service or not.
Active Citizenship Continuum
THE MODEL
LEVEL 1 Programming
 Programming at this level is aimed at getting
students involved and interested in civic engagement
and social issues, possibly for the first time.
LEVEL 1 Programming con’t
 Opportunities to learn:
about needs in the community
 why civic engagement is necessary in meeting these needs
 that actions can meet those needs
 that their actions can, in fact, help
 a sense of responsibility to become involved based on a sense of
connectedness with the community or those in need.

 Examples:
Volunteer Fair
 Episodic service projects
 Philanthropy drives
 Educational events
 National Days of Service

LEVEL 2 Programming
 Programming at this level is aimed at educating
regular volunteers about social issues. It’s
programming that pushes participants to ask why a
service is needed, what are the root causes.
LEVEL 2 Programming Con’t
 Opportunities to become more involved in service
projects.
On-going projects
 Developing relationships with community partners
 Opportunities to take on leadership roles

 Examples:




Alternative Breaks (as participants)
Social Justice Film Series
Speakers/Panel Discussions
Service Council
LEVEL 3 Programming
 Programming at this level is targeted at socially
active students that are beginning to make civic
engagement a priority expressed through their values
and life choices. Leadership development is a high
priority.
LEVEL 3 Programming Con’t

Opportunities to:
become a leader on campus
 engage other students in service; leading by example
 learn how individual choices impact the world around them
 learn how to make socially responsible choices in their daily lives


Examples:
Alternative Break Citizenship schools
 Community Service Intern
 Alt Break Site Leaders
 Alternative Break Board
