Reflection is one of the most important parts of a service learning experience. It is time when you move from participation in an activity to deeper understanding of what it means in terms of learning, personal development, and service to others.
Reflection should take place throughout the service-learning project. It is an activity where you record your experiences, thoughts, etc. that arise during the service-learning project.
Reflection is part of the process of evaluating how the service learning experience has helped resolve an issue while benefiting the community. This includes reflecting on the project and sharing results and recommendations with others. Celebrating the project's success is an important part of service learning.
Students are encouraged to incorporate a variety of reflective activities throughout their service-learning project, not just at the project's conclusion. Reflection helps students make sense of their CTC service-learning project allows them to:
- Consider the social and ethical dimension of their experience
- Discuss and assimilate their overall place-based service experiences
- Compare the connection between students' service experience with those of other students
- Examine the results, processes, and relationships of the service-learning project to determine the extent to which their efforts have benefited other students and community
The way you chose to reflect should meet your personal style and preferences. It may be through writing, art, or performing. You may choose one, or several ways, to use reflect during the project. Before getting started on the project, plan the types of reflection activities you want to use before, during, and after your project is completed.
Reflection activities about your project experience may include:
- Keeping a journal
- Composing a letter
- Writing a poem about them
- Creating a skit
- Making a display
- Staging a debate on the issue
- Or any other way you want to record your experience
Open the Reflection Toolbox. for more ideas.
I am more environmentally conscious and have more of a drive to do things to improve my town and home. I think I will be able to trust people more and work with them better now that I better understand where they are coming from. I feel more comfortable with being myself around new people and have simultaneously gaining quite a bit of knowledge about the world around me. THANK YOU!!
I learned that I have a practical learning style. That I like to have at least a loose plan for things. I also learned that I don't necessarily stand up to lead right away, but will lead if I need to. I work better with smaller groups and feel less intimidated.
I learned that I am a "people person." Sometimes, I feel as if I am not a people person in that usually I work on school projects alone and tend to be uncomfortable in social situations and big groups. Now I know that my wanting to help others all the time is not some strange quirk I posses, but a strength that I now can utilize.
I think I'd need a few more hours and eight more pages to answer that. In short, I learned that all the great lakes are incredibly important resource that needs to be cared for to protect our environment, and if they aren't, we will lose on of the most important parts of our ecosystem.
I learned that it is a relatively clean lake. I also learned how vital it is to its watershed. I did not realize before how intricate its relation was with the Native American people living in this area. I realize that preserving the lake is not only important to saving the ecosystem around it, but is vital to the Native Americans' way of life.
I now realize how connected we all are, as people, in the big picture. We can't go off and do "our own thing," as I am used to doing. I realize that there is strength in a group of motivated people and a lot more could be accomplished. As Joe Rose said, "...we are in the eleventh hour..." It is now more important than ever that people who realize that change must be made must stand up.
I've become more environmentally aware — encouraged seeing other people my age concerned about the same things. I am able to defend my views respectfully and realized I can be a leader. What I think or say or do affects someone or something, and I have the power to use that in a positive way.
I became more apt to identify and name my 'needs' when working in a group or on my own. Sometimes these are inhibiting and sometimes they are essential to getting the job done. Now, when the less useful parts of my leadership style arise, I can recognize them and respond constructively. And, I can continue to utilize the helpful aspects for the first time.
Everything I learned about Lake Superior was new. I learned about the native invasive species. I learned all about the mercury issue. I learned how a community is based around it. I also learned that it can numb your body in a few minutes and that it has the best waves in the entire world maybe even universe.
I was introduced to the lake for the first time, and now I have a first-hand respect for its beauty. However, I am also leaving Pathfinders with the knowledge of some specific threats that endanger the lake, and all the systems it supports.
I have learned more about myself and how to work together with others, and in the past when I might have tried to do a project completely by myself, now I will be quicker to accept help and ask for it. I know that there will always be someone around who I can go to and who will be willing to lend a hand. This entire experience has been an inspiration.