University of Utah
Social Work SL363-1
Fall Quarter
Irene Fisher


This course is approved for social science liberal education distribution credit and is also a recognized service-learning class for the ServiceLearning Scholars Program. Students in the course spend three hours of volunteer service in the community each week and the learning from that experience becomes part of the "text" of the class,

This course is designed to help students come to a personal understanding of community service and leadership through learning based on volunteer service experience, readings, group discussion and interaction, and critical reflection.

The pedagogy of this course is built on the action-reflection concepts of John Dewey, David Kolb
and others who recognize the importance of individual action and involvement, with subsequent
reflection and analysis, to build personal understanding of the subject.

The course builds on the premise that individual citizens have both an opportunity and a
responsibility to be involved in the life of the community and in addressing community problems.


I. To introduce students to the scope of social and environmental problems which currently exist in the Salt Lake area,

2. To build an understanding of the importance of the individual in the community through the lives of individuals who have impacted significant community problems and through personal actions.

3. To challenge students to test their values and beliefs about the individuals relationship with the community through community service and reflection, readings, guest presentations, and group action and discussion.

4. To explore the connections between personal values, society's values, our actual practices, and the role of the individual in solving community problems.

5. To provide students with a basic understanding of varied approaches to address a recognized community need.


Colby, Anne, & Damon, Wm. (1992). _Some Do Care: Contemporary Lives of Moral Commitment_. New York: MacMillan, Inc.

Coles, Robert. (1993). _The Call of Service: A Witness to Idealism_. Boston New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Other readings from class hand-outs and library reserve:

Bellah, R,N, (1985). _Habits of the Heart_, New York: Harper and Row, (Chpt.6)

Peck, Scott, (1987) _The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace_. New York: Simon and Schuster. (Chapters 2,3,4)



September 28
Topic: Overview of the course; discussion Of Service-Learning Format: Presentation and group discussion Assign.:

October 3
Topics: Getting the most from community service

Learning from experience - journals, reflection, group process Format: Presentation and class discussion Assign.: Read Coles, Chapter 5,

         Read three articles (to be distributed in class):
         "Journals: Diaries for Growth" and
         "Tools for Journals and Debriefing" from
         Combining Service and Learning.
         "Think About It: Taking Time Out for Reflection"
         From Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL) newsletter

October 5
Topic: Selecting a community service opportunity Format: Guest presentations, class discussion, group formation Assign,: Read Coles, Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2. Each student will perform three hours per week of community service for eight weeks, beginning Oct. 12,


          Note: This segment of the class is spread throughout
          the quarter, and includes five class service projects
          and issue exploration related to the projects.  See Oct. 6, 

Nov. 9, 16, 28, Dec. 7.

October 10
Topic: Youth Violence in the Salt Lake area Format: Hands-on class service project in the community Assign: Read class hand-outs

Topic: A look at people who have made a difference Format: Class discussion

Assign: Colby, Chapters 3, 5, and 6.

         Begin service assignments, see Oct. 3.
         One page statement of volunteer service plan due
*        name of agency
*        contact person, phone, mailing address, signature
*        job description and planned hours
*        1 or more personal learning goal

October 17
Topic: A look at people who have made a difference Format: Video presentation and class discussion Assign.: Colby, Chapters 8 and 9.

October 19
Topic: Conversations with people who have made a difference Format: Guest panel
Assign.: Class hand-outs

October 24
Topic: Perspectives on Leadership: Summary Ideas Format: Class discussion and SHORT ESSAY EXAM Assign: Read class handouts; hand in journal for comments


October 26
Topic: Working together effectively in your own group Format: Guest presenter on group processes; Team building exercise; development of group rules

October 31
Topic: Ways people work together in community service Format: Class time for group meetings
Assign.: Read Coles, Chapter 3.

November 2
Topic: Ways people work together in community service Format: Class time for group meetings
Assign: Read Coles, Chapter 4,

November 7
Topic: Group introductory reports
Format: See group assignment page

Topic: "Into the Streets" Service project 12 Format: Group service project planned by group Assign: Handouts from the presenting group

November 14
Topic: "Community" As An Ideal
Format: Class discussion and exercises Assign: Peck, Chpts. 2,3,4, (On reserve in Marriott Library)

November 16
Topic: "Into the Streets" Service project 13 Format: Group service project planned by group _ Assign: Handouts from the presenting group

Exchange journals with group member for comments

November 21
Topic: Decision-making in a "real" community setting Format: Class role-play exercise and discussion Assign.:

November 28
Topic: "Into the Streets" Service project #4 Format: Group service project planned by Group ____ Assign.: Handouts from the presenting group

November 30 Thanksgiving holiday, no class.

December 5
Topic: Individualism & Commitment: What Does It Mean To Me? Format: Class discussion
Assign.: Bellah, Habits of the Heart, Chpt. 6.

         Coles, Interlude, p. 233-253 & Chapter S.
         Exchange journals with group members for comment

December 7
Topic: "Into the Streets" Service project 15 Format: Group service project planned by group Assign,: Handouts from the presenting group

December 12
Topic: Final group reports & celebration of service Format: see group assignment page
Assign,: Group papers and individual journals due

Course Expectations:

  1. Each student will be exposed to actual community needs and will explore solutions to community problems through volunteer service and reflection, and through examination of and experience with how individuals and groups organize themselves to address problems.
  2. Each student will be more aware of the problems which exist in the Salt Lake area and will understand the capabilities of individuals and groups to address those problems,
  3. Each student will be more aware of his/her personal beliefs about the individual's relationship to the community.
  4. Each student will complete the following assignments: a) one personal journal of community service experience & reflection b) class participation c) three hours per week of community service (24 hrs. total) d) one final group paper e) involvement in group process and project


Each student will be graded in the following manner:

Class participation 20% Measured by presence and contribution to class discussions, including demonstrated ability to synthesize learning from experience, reading, presentations, and class discussions.

Personal service experience 30% Documented and analyzed in a personal journal, with a final statement of learning outcomes.

Two short essay exams (10% each) 20%

Group process and project 30%

                                        Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 15:17:09 MST
                                        From: Renee Buchanan <>