Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 5(10), pp. 1777 - 1781
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2017.051016
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Pre-planning for Service Learning: Creative Strategies through the Lens of Poverty

Anne Mejia-Downs *, Julie Gahimer
Krannert School of Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, 46227, Indiana, United States


College students involved in service learning are often challenged to consider a deeper appreciation for persons from diverse populations. Many clients in the community organizations we serve are financially disadvantaged. To increase understanding of this common social condition, we implemented pedagogical techniques to bring the realities of poverty into our service-learning course. The purpose of this paper is to describe three different strategies, ranging from pre-packaged programming to self-designed activities, which were used to educate students about the role of poverty in society. These strategies included, 1) a Poverty Simulation which "enables participants to view poverty from different perspectives in an experiential setting", 2) engagement with impoverished clients from a local organization, and 3) group activities using online resources such as videos, a poverty quiz, and games. Students were asked to reflect on their previous views on poverty and how these activities affected them. The aim of these strategies was to encourage students to consider a broad range of perspectives (personal, community, and policy), recognize biases and stereotypes, and link the service learning experience to a broader context in society.

Teaching Strategies, Service Learning, Poverty

Cite this paper
Anne Mejia-Downs , Julie Gahimer . "Pre-planning for Service Learning: Creative Strategies through the Lens of Poverty." Universal Journal of Educational Research 5.10 (2017) 1777 - 1781. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2017.051016.