Title

Are We Really Helping Communities? A Teaching Case to Challenge Dominant Narratives about Sources of Inequity

SMC Author

Cynthia Gordon de Cruz

SMC Affiliated Work

1

Author Role

author

Status

Faculty

School

School of Liberal Arts

Department

Justice, Community, and Leadership

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2017

Publication Title

Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

Description/Abstract

Students in service-learning courses often make well-intended but deficit-oriented comments about the communities with whom they are working. While service provides opportunities for student learning (e.g., developing civic commitments and academic skills and increasing awareness of discrimination), service can also reinforce deficit-oriented thinking. Further, students from marginalized backgrounds in service-learning classrooms can be negatively affected by deficit-oriented comments. Possible theories to confront such challenges include asset-based models of community development, critical service learning, and structural explanations for inequities. Teaching cases are a pedagogical device for supporting students in putting complex theories like these into practice. This article presents a teaching case--grounded in these critical theories--that can foster students' abilities to develop responses to typical scenarios they might encounter at service-learning sites that are informed by structural understandings of social and racial inequities. Further, the case can be part of a classroom environment conducive to the learning of all students.

ISSN

19441207

Volume

10

Issue

1

First Page

102

Last Page

110

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Original Citation

Gordon da Cruz, Cynthia. “Are We Really Helping Communities? A Teaching Case to Challenge Dominant Narratives about Sources of Inequity.” Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship. Vol. 10, No. 1, August 2017, pp. 102-110.

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