An important component of Service Learning is reflecting on the meaning of the experience. Sharing with others who are involved in service can lead to new insights into self and others.
Reflection – Gaining the most from your service learning experience.
In order for you to experience the full benefit of student learning, reflection activities should be completed in the service experience. Reflection means the process of thinking about how meaningful your experiences was to you. Reflection translates experiences into knowledge.
Think critically about what you are doing, why it is important and what it means. The following are a few ways of how you can help you reflect on your Service Learning experience:
Attend orientation – The orientation should be comprehensive so you know about your agency’s mission, goals and the work they do in the community.
Processing meetings – Meet with your supervisor and instructor and tell them about your experience (e.g. What are you learning? What has surprised you? What can we do to solve this societal problem?)
Critical thinking – Challenge yourself to explore and think critically about your agency and the societal issues it addresses. Ask yourself how social responsibility affects your community and problems they may face. (e.g. Why can’t children read? Why does homelessness exist?) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a career in that field.
Learning Objectives – Make sure you meet your learning objective set by your instructor.Did your experience meet that goal?