Developing a Critical Pedagogy of Service Learning: Preparing Self-Reflective, Culturally Aware, and Responsive Community Participants
Kathleen Rice Seth Pollack California State University Monterey Bay
California State University Monterey Bay ( CSUMB) is one of the few public universities in the country where service learning is a graduation requirement. Since its founding in 1995, service learning has been institutionalized as a core part of the academic program. In each of the university's first 3 years, 50% of the students have taken service learning courses, contributing over 60,000 hours of work to the community and resulting in partnerships with more than 240 community organizations ( Service Learning Institute, 1998). Although the extensiveness of these efforts is noteworthy, it is the university's fundamental commitment to issues of multiculturalism and diversity that distinguishes its service learning program. At CSUMB, service learning and multiculturalism are inextricably intertwined.
This chapter describes how multicultural education and service learning have come to be powerfully interrelated at CSUMB, resulting in the creation of a program committed to preparing "self-reflective, culturally aware, and responsive community participants through reciprocal service and learning" ( Alexander et al., 1998). At the core of CSUMB's service learning program is the required lower division