- Reflective thinking is the key to making experience educative (Eyler, Giles and Schmiede 1966)
- Reflection is the intentional consideration of an experience in light of particular learning objectives
- Reflection activities provide the bridge between the community service activities and the academic content of the course
- Reflection activities direct the student’s interpretations of events and provide a means through which the community service can be studied and interpreted, much as a text is read and studied for deeper understanding
(Excerpted from Campus Compact’s Introduction to Service-Learning Toolkit)
The Importance of Reflection
Reflection is at the heart of service-learning - doing service without reflecting is “like eating without digesting.”
Reflection. . .
- Explores service and the meaning behind service experiences
- Focuses on learning from the community and environment
- Helps connect coursework with “real life”
- Helps clarify goals and values
- Highlights strengths and areas needing improvement
- Evokes constructive evaluation of the effort, the school, and the community
How We Do Reflection
- Reflection should be ongoing – it should happen before, during, and after engaging in service. It can be formal or informal, and can be facilitated through a variety of activities.
- Most professors direct students to reflect on the service experience in writing. Some ask their students to give short presentations to the rest of the class, or to meet for regular discussions about the experience. Journaling is also a popular assignment.