Focus on Self - Focus on Service - Focus on Experience

Focus on Self; Focus on Service; Focus on Experience provides a structure for critical analysis. There is some information in the Reflection in Service-Learning Part II video from St. Mary's College of California.

Focus on Self pre-service reflection—occurs in class before the service project so that students can express their ideas and beliefs about the topic and service, what type of volunteer work they've done before, what their ideas about the topic (ex environmental issues) are. This part of the process has an individual focus.

Focus on Service—preparation, orientation and service itself. Some ideas: ask students to check out the website of the community partner, define important terms (watershed, homelessness, etc.), ask community partner to come to class and bring a client. Students learn more about where they are going, what they are doing, and about the community partner's mission. This part of the process focuses on the community partner and the service itself.

Focus on experience post-service reflection — What did students think about it? What surprised them? How does this connect to/enhance classroom learning? How can students stay involved? This part of the process integrates the activity, partner and the academic and civic learning.

Each part of this three-step process can be a written assignment, art project, 3-panel poster presentation, discussion, or a combination. Each part of the process can be graded equally or more points can be given for certain sections. For example:

  • Focus on self = 1 point
  • Focus on service = 1 point
  • Focus on experience = 1 point + 1 point for each connection to a lecture or reading + 1 point for evidence of action taken

Do you have questions or tips to share about Self, Service, Experience reflection method? Please let us know.