Benefits of Service-Learning in Writing Courses
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Advocates of integrating service-learning and writing frequently speak in terms of transitions. Consider the following potential transitions:
- Class members make the transition from students to writers and from commentators to collaborators.
- Instructors make the transition from drivers to facilitators of student-directed and collaborative writing.
- Writing moves from private to public. The investment of an audience outside the classroom raises the stakes of writing, and writing becomes a record that can inform continuing collaboration.
- The traditionally isolated classroom becomes a member of a connected community. The promotion of connections rather than divisions is especially important in composition classes because they are among the earliest taken and contribute significantly to students' academic expectations and identities.
- The academic institution and surrounding community move toward greater awareness of their ties to one another and to larger social systems.
- The academic experience becomes an opportunity to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The marriage of service-learning and composition and rhetoric, which view communication as an interaction aimed at producing effects, challenges the traditional theory/practice dichotomy promoted by a view of communication as a means of revealing static concepts.
View Caveats of Service-Learning in Writing Courses