Chapter 14: Service-Learning in an Environmental Engineering Classroom: Examples, Evaluation, and Recommendations
Tara Kulkarni, University of Vermont and Kimberly Coleman, University of Vermont
Engineering classrooms have started to create active learning spaces by offering students opportunities to engage and learn outside the classroom. Group projects, project-based learning, internships, learning communities, active and cooperative learning as well as service learning are being introduced as pedagogical tools in many educational institutions. Many models exist for implementing such tools; however, most of these examples take place at large and/or well-funded institutions. This chapter examines one framework for implementing service learning in an environmental engineering classroom at a small collegiate institution. The primary objectives of using the service-learning pedagogy were to deepen learning about classroom concepts and have students apply these concepts in design and/or research and presentations to address a community need. The examples provided here focus on bringing the engineering lessons into K–12 classrooms. The chapter outlines the structure of the course, describes the service-learning projects, presents outputs, and describes our assessment methods. Results show that although service learning proved challenging for students, it also provided an opportunity for them to work on important skills, namely communication and leadership. Finally, we make recommendations based on lessons learned for educators in all disciplines seeking to advance civic engagement learning goals through service-learning pedagogy.
About the Authors
Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines / Copyright ©2017 by the American Political Science Association / pp: 195-208