As I’ve immersed myself more into the world of civic engagement and service learning, I am finding more information that interests me. As of late, I have identified a book that outlines competencies for the Community Engaged Professional and a podcast that outlines the lack of empirical information on these professionals. Tada- another hole I could fill!
I’ve been looking into blogs written by these professionals as well. I want to understand their perspective and drive and learn about their experiences. One that I ran across today was about the crossroad between civic engagement and higher education. The section I was most drawn to hypothesized that one of the reasons we have not yet fully instituted civic engagement on campuses is because it threatens our understanding of where knowledge comes from. Interestingly enough, this is the same sentiment that was shared by a founder of service learning that I was able to hear at a conference a couple of months ago.
Civic engagement/ community engagement means relying on the professionals within the community to provide the expertise to teach our students (and us) about social justice issues. In addition, when our students engage in these opportunities, they also learn real life skills. We have been taught that the institutions of higher education hold all of the knowledge; that is where you go to become education. Civic engagement “threatens” that belief because we are sending our students out to the community to become educated.
It seems like such a stupid concern- but one that I am seeing cited more and more.