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.

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