Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 25: Second International Service-Learning Conference in Teacher Education

Mac went with the Halls sightseeing. They will be gone after the presentation tomorrow. I left messages at Jake's hotel, but he is not in Galway yet.

Conference Registration: At registration, it seemed like less than 50 people would attend. By 3:00 p.m. we had about 60, others would be arriving the next day. The conference had about 100 participants, mostly researchers and teacher trainers representing 6 continents. The new home of the conference next year, possibly the USA-Duke University!!!

Welcome: Galway and the CKI (Community Knowledge Interactive) 10 year plan: All students at the National University of Ireland, Galway will be involved in social solidarity. Service-Learning is part of their strategic plan. Value of service learning: Development of social skills, problem solving, ability to ask the right questions: Development of soft skills!!!

World Cafe: Hosting guidelines at The trainers were Don Hill and Cathy Burger Kaye. The directions were very simple. Answer a question given by the facilitators. Share time so everyone talks. Draw, write, doodle, etc on the paper provided. Members of the table will rotate to another table. One member stays to explain discussion to the new group and start another conversation that matter. 15 minutes per topic area.
How does service-learning contribute to Global Citizenship? How can it be expanded from awareness to action? What is the future of service-learning.

During the debriefing of the World Cafe process and how it could be applicable to our environments, we were broken into pairs to bring about a final questions to be posed at a World Cafe in our environments. We were allow 1 minute to come up with that question. My partner and I decided: How can we move people-students, teachers, parents, administration from the idealogogy of "having to do service" to wanting to do it?.

Personal debriefing: I think we could use this technique to teach people how to ask good questions, how to listen and give them pointers on how to summarize different people's point of view.

Opening Plenary: Tom Collins The University and the community, an evolving relationship> It was the most imspirational speaker of the conference. Dr. Collins said that we are living a moment of transformation where the teachers do not share the nanosecond mentally of the students. He questioned how do we live with each other now? How do we agree to share the Island of Galway, OUR PLANET?.

He said people are basically good and quoted Cale Rogers work as teacher's task being to enable people to become their capabilities. The knowledge society is not driven by content. He mentioned emotional intelligence and building capacity in the individual and the community.

How do we view community
1. Unimportant: All learning happens in the classroom
2. Laboratory: a testing site
3. Benefitiary: Student teachers make a contribution
4. Client: We go and fix things
5. Skeptic: University an intruder, irrelevant: manipulative, paternalistic, secretive
6. Resource: Valuable are of learning
7. Partner: Resolving issues together and from each others' perspective and need. TRUST is what is needed most!

Three types of teachers:
1. Loves the subject
2. Loves kids
3. Loves himself or herself

Children must have opportunity to learn outside the subject, test the knowledge of the subject. The challenge is to be child center and reflect and help them acquire the critical skills needed in this new society.

Carmen Clay's Home Groups: Katherine Bates and I have a hard time remembering names. I would like the group to know I am trying to become a better listener. K. Firece is enthusiastic. G.M Moses was enhancing critiques of his practice, Ken Symonds loves teaching and learning, Suzanne Rocheham is curious and Jean Strait has written a book about the future of service learning. My group's burning questions were:
1. How can we build the research capacity in the international community?
2. How can we make service-learning lesson planning more useful in the classroom?
3. How can be make service-learning acroos three level disciplines more focused on students developing a political consciousness- and wanting to change the world?
4. How can teacher education as a discipline more effectively integrate service-learning as a pedagogy?
5. How does higher education strenghten partnerships with k-12 in service-learning?
6. How can service-learning become an intrinsic value for students and faculty?

Barbeque: Kendall and Mac attended the barbeque after having spent the day sightseeing. Jake was not in Galway yet.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Second International Service-Learning Conference in Teacher Education

June 22-24: After a long flight we arrived to the Corrib Village, school housing. It is clean, students work during the summer turning the school into an international learning center. There are students from all over the world studying from 2-6 weeks.

The rooms are stoic and clean. Bathrooms are shared by three rooms. The location of ours is convenient. Sometimes the rooms are hot, but the weather has been so nice that we cannot complain. Locals tell us that we brought good weather with us. This is not typical. It is supposed to be good until we leave.

The breakfast is continental. The registration office is in the hands oollege students working during the summer months.

Even without phone service, I was able to connect with parents via registration office. We purchased Internet for E10 for a whole week. Mac really liked having the computer at the room. I could not get into the Casady Website for a couple of days and my communication home after the arrived never got home.

Today is the 24th. After recuperating from 72 hours without sleep, Mack was feeling better today. The Halls picked her up in the morning and she went to Ashford Castle, the most expensive hotel in Ireland. I had to meet with the conference organizers so I met them for dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Hall took us to dinner to McDonaugh's. Great seafood, the best I have had in a long time.

I met the conference team after I met Patricia Walsh and Kym O'Reilly ( They gave me the conference program and asked me to consider having summer school in their campus. The arrange location of classes, but our own teachers come to teach the courses. There are sports and recreation instructors available for soccer, rowing, fishing, hiking. Photography, art, European History might be options. I will bring this request to the attention of the summer school organizers.