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Encouraging Cultural Competence in Service Learning Practice


by Janie Victoria Ward 1997

Conrad and Hedin identify six characteristics present in effective service programs: (1) they are valuable and worthwhile to both school and community; (2) they provide opportunities in which young people must be counted upon; (3) they include tasks that challenge and strengthen critical thinking skills; (4) they provide opportunities for students to make decisions; (5) they involve students and adults working together; (6) they provide systematic reflection on the experience. The latter two of these common components, working with adult mentors or advisors and the expectation of personal reflection throughout the process, are particularly noteworthy. Adult advisors serve to encourage, support, guide, monitor, and evaluate. Journal writing, group discussions, and other activities designed to encourage reflection serve to contribute to students' greater understanding of self, of those being served, of social problems, of active citizenship, and of the individual's responsibility to .the collective.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 96, No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 98 Number 5, 1997, p. 136-148
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18768, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 9:39:40 AM

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About the Author
  • Janie Ward
    Simmons College
    E-mail Author
    JANIE VICTORIA WARD is Associate Professor of Education and Human Services at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.
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