Community-based learning is a pedagogical approach that intentionally links what is being taught in the classroom to the surrounding communities.
Community-based Learning is grounded in mutual respect and the belief that all communities have educational assets and resources that can enhance learning experiences for students. While the specific form that CBL takes varies across courses, it is characterized by: sustained, extensive work outside the classroom; meaningful student reflection; significant integration of community perspective; and alignment between community and classroom learning.
Benefits of Community-based Learning:
- Integrate or synthesize classroom and community work in a way that demonstrates understanding of course concepts and awareness of the complexity of community issues.
- Communicate – both orally and in written form – with audiences from diverse social, economic, ethnic, and professional backgrounds.
- Support the community’s ability to develop its assets and address its self-identified concerns.
- Reflect on their experiences in the community in order to assess their personal and academic development and commitment to civic engagement.
PAST CBL COURSE EXAMPLES
ANT 307/SPA 240 Feminist Ethnography/Spanish Advanced Conversation presented ethnographic interview data from interviews with the local Hispanic population to Centro Latino.
BIO 375 Conservation Biology assisted Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill with their historic prairie restoration project by reintroducing endangered native species to the area.
ECO 352 Policy Analysis in Our Community partnered with Ephraim McDowell Community Relations to study five important issues that affect our community’s health and productivity.
- EDU 226 Technology and Education partnered with Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill to develop educational materials for visitors.
- EDU 295 Global Perspectives on Education partnered with Kentucky Refugee Ministries in Lexington to create tools for teaching English as second language to refugees resettled in Lexington.
- HIS 351 African Kingdoms and Colonial Empires worked to organize the restoration of the African American Cemetery in Danville.
- PSY 325 Child Abnormal Psychology placed students in Wilderness Trace Child Development Center, The Salvation Army, and Boyle County High School to observe and interact with children at all stages of development.
- SPA 220 Intermediate Spanish II and SPA 240 Conversation partnered with Centro Latino, Mercer County Adult Education Center, Mercer-Boyle Head Start, Mercer and Boyle County schools for tutoring and ESL services.