Archive for the ‘(02) Learning environment:’ Category

Capstone–Standard 02 Meta-Reflection: Learning Environment

Standard 02 Meta-Reflection: Learning Environment

Creates and maintains school-wide and classroom environments that are safe, stable, and empowering.

Initial reflection during C & I Orientation:

In my role as the special education curriculum leader in an inclusion setting, I must ensure that a continuum of services is available for consideration by each student’s IEP Team. I must see to it that my students are provided services in the “least restrictive environment” and that they are given the opportunity to access free and appropriate public education.

Meta-Reflection following completion of EDU 6655 Human Development and Principles of Learning:

I enjoyed the opportunity to have guidance in this course toward some of the most recent brain research relating to education. While reading the first week’s chapters and articles, I found myself most intrigued and inspired by the Jossey-Bass descriptions of “mirror neurons”, and saw for myself many possible explanations of experiences encountered within my family (a brother who is severely disabled, and my father having suffered two gunshot wounds to the head) as well as those of students within my classroom. I found reading the article, On Empathy: the Mirror Neuron System and Art Education, to be very informative. In settings where I hear people (including my students) share their challenging, real-life stories find that I experience what some might refer to as “compassion fatigue”—therefore, I am interested in the impact of stress on learning. As stated within the Jossey-Bass Reader in Chapter 4, “It is increasingly recognized that efficient learning does not take place when the learner is experiencing fear or stress…inappropriate stress has a significant effect on both physiological and cognitive functioning….stress or fear also affect social judgment, and responses to reward and risk” (p. 44).

In my first paper written for this course, Personal Background Reflection Paper (please see link to Artifact 2.1 below), I reflected on my own childhood experiences in comparison to that of many of my students, and discussed how these intertwining factors influence my teaching interactions with students. As authors Stiggins, Arter, and Chappuis (2006), have clarified, the distinction between assessment of learning vs. for learning, places the emphasis on helping students answer the three questions, “ ‘Where am I going?’; ‘Where am I now?’; and ‘How can I close the gap’?”

Within my second paper, Professional Philosophy of Education and Developmental Theory (please see link to Artifact 2.2 below), I expressed thoughts pertaining to Erik Erickson’s developmental theory. “Erikson defined eight developmental stages during which a crisis must be resolved in order for a person to develop psychosocially without carrying forward issues tied to the previous crisis…” Author, Crain, states, “The adolescent’s primary task, Erikson believed, is establishing a new sense of ego identity—a feeling for who one is and one’s place in the larger social order. The crisis is one of identity versus role confusion” (p. 291). A reflective process I use with students (described below), is one method I believe helps them engage in the development of their ego identity:

Currently in my position as a special education teacher in a largely “inclusive” high school in terms of service delivery, much of my work with students is conducted in the context of individual appointments in my office. One tool that I use regularly with my students is a self-evaluation process—involving both written and verbal responses to a weekly progress report including; detailed listings of assignments, scores, current grade-to-date, attendance, etc. for each of their six classes. An overarching purpose of the use of this tool is to assist students with developing self-advocacy skills as they strive to succeed in high school as well as prepare for post-secondary endeavors. The reflective exercise guides the students through the process of reading information pertinent to their day-to-day life as a student. The completion of the form requires analysis of their current progress as well as the development of strategies for establishing and reaching both short and long-term goals, and encourages students to take ownership, responsibility, (and credit) for their actions and efforts (James, 2012).

Ironically, just this week in April of 2013, as I am working on completing the requirements for my master’s degree by writing/rewriting reflections on my own learning as a graduate student, a dramatic event occurred within my classroom as a student was completing his own written reflection. (Note: As of result of new learning in my graduate studies, I have increased the level of expectation for student reflection to include more extended written responses. The following account of a very recent experience relates also to the use of technology in the classroom—proving that even outdated technology can be used to connect with students).

Since I don’t have enough computer access for all students in my special education Learning Strategies class, I have chosen to use small keyboards to have students write reflections on a regular basis. Although the small, “NEO” keyboards are outdated devices, they are available for my use. Each device holds 8 separate “files” which I have students use to make progress notes in response to specific prompts at various times throughout each term. Files 1-6 are reserved for periods 1-6, and file # 7 is for “other”. Usually, I encourage student to describe in File # 7–accomplishments of which they are MOST proud. I upload their responses regularly and find this process to be extremely valuable in helping me maintain a connection with students and to assist me as I endeavor to respond to their individual needs. Some students are able to express so much more in writing than they would in face-to-face conversations.

Tuesday, as I was uploading and reading student reflections, I noticed the reflection of one very quiet and studious student was prefaced with the comment: “Mrs. James, be sure to read paragraph # 7″. As I continued to upload his work, I found a most heart-wrenching, yet beautifully written expression from this student who had recently been placed on probation. It was evident that he was experiencing a downward spiral toward severe depression. His cry for help included the words, “I can’t go out and make friends or give a shout out to others about my emotions. I get it out in writing or typing now. I stay silent and lonely to rot away…” Thankfully, I was able to talk with him after class and set up an appointment for him to meet with the counselor. The student and I have agreed that he will continue to use writing as a way to help him process his intense emotions.

An example of how research validates the threatened needs of this young man to be connected with his friends and to know that someone cares is referenced in my third paper, Professional Analysis of Developmental Appropriateness (please see links to artifacts 2.3.1, 2.3.2, and 2.3.3 below). As I discuss the Individual Transition form of the Individual Education Plan (IEP), I make the suggestion that work habits and interpersonal skills should be addressed on this form for secondary students because these skills relate to Kohlberg’s Level II Conventional Morality. Crain refers to Kohlberg’s Level II Conventional Morality—Stage 3. Good Interpersonal Relationships. “At this stage children, are by now usually entering their teens—see morality as more than simple deals. They believe people should live up to the expectations of the family and community and behave in “good” ways. Good behavior means having good motives and interpersonal feelings such as love, empathy, trust, and concern for others” (p. 161).

In my Week 4 Blog for this course, EDU 6655: Mind and Brain….Techniques–backed by research? (James, 2012), I expressed my conflicting thoughts about controversial brain research. I conveyed my tendency to agree with author, Hyatt, who suggests “that much of the rush by educators to provide ‘brain-based’ learning opportunities for children is based on information that is selective, oversimplified, or incorrectly interpreted, and he strongly urged that educators and the public exercise great caution when trying to apply findings from brain science to educational interventions” (Hyatt, 2007, p. 120).

Based on my informal, anecdotal research gleaned as an educator in the classroom from 1980 to the present, high school students generally experience a relatively high degree of stress–which I maintain to be a contributing factor to some of the struggles I observe in their lives. My goal is to continue in my endeavor to use any means available to meet the needs of my students as I address Standard 2: Create and maintain school-wide and classroom environments that are safe, stable, and empowering. In the process of completing the requirements for this course (see links to artifacts below), I appreciated the opportunity to reflect with a fresh and guided focus on my years in the classroom and I intend to continue to view new research as it becomes available. I believe new insights will continue to come, along with validation for long-held convictions.


Arter, J., Chappuis J., S.,  Stiggins, R. (2006). Classroom assessment for students learning. Doing it right, using it well. Boston, MA. Pearson Education, Inc.

Crain, W. C. (2011). Theories of development: Concepts and applications. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.

Hyatt, K. J. (2007). Brain gym[R]: Building stronger brains or wishful thinking?. Remedial and Special Education, 28(2), 117-124.

James, L. (2012). Professional philosophy of education and developmental theory, Seattle Pacific University.

James, L. (2012). EDU 6655: Mind and Brain….Techniques—backed by research?, WordPress  blog, Seattle Pacific University. Retrieved from

Jossey-Bass Inc. (2008). The Jossey-Bass reader on the brain and learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Links to artifacts for Standard 2:

EDU 6655-ARTIFACT 2.1 Personal Background Reflection Paper

EDU 6655-ARTIFACT 2.2 Final Professional Philosophy Paper

EDU 6655-ARTIFACT 2.3.1 Final Paper SECONDARY TRANSITION Form Analysis

EDU 6655-ARTIFACT 2.3.2 TRANSITION Form Analysis.list



ISTE NETS for Teachers – Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership—Goalview IEP System–Training to Become a Trainer

EDTC 6433: ISTE Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership—Goalview IEP System–Training to Become a Trainer

Goalview screenshot

Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.

  1. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
  2. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.
  3. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.
  4. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching.

Within the first couple of weeks of this course, EDTC 6433, I noted that our district was in the midst of selecting software for creating and managing online IEPs . I also shared a screen shot of one of the options, Goalview. As of today, I am now in the midst of training to become a trainer for other teachers within our district on how to implement Goalview. Having served on the software adoption committee 15 years ago and teaching others to use the software from then to the present,  I am delighted to have once again been selected to represent the high school team of special education teachers. I am eager to move beyond the “test site” we experienced today. Due in part to what I have learned within this course, today I was able to ask insightful questions during the training, move ahead to see a sneak preview of the benefits of this program, and envision ways that I will provide support to my colleagues as we go “live” within the next month. I definitely see myself actively engaging in part b. of ISTE Standard 5.

In the article, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology1, authors Collins &Halverson (2009), state:  “The revolution that is occurring in education will alter not just the lives of students, but the entire society”. I am continuing to realize that as a public school educator who has served for over three decades, the changes I have already witnessed may be just the beginning. Thankfully, I am not dismayed by this fact, but rather, encouraged.

Recently a colleague complimented me for being recognized and validated as evidenced by my district selecting me to be trained to become a trainer for the new IEP software being used nationwide. Today, during our second day of training, it was easy to see huge advantages to the new features we discussed. A couple of us laughed as we recalled the “IEP system” we used at the beginning of our teaching careers—5-part NCR forms which I later experimented with feeding into the “cutting edge at-the-time dot matrix printers”! Ironically, I need to remind myself to be patient as we make the transition to the new system and agree with my colleague,  David Spencer, that “It is amazing what we can do and learn from each other as educators when we are given/take the time to discuss topics”.

1  Excerpted from our book Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The

Digital Revolution and Schooling in America. New York: Teachers College Press, 2009.

EDCT 6433: Participation in an Online Educational Community –Blog

Participation in an Online Educational Community –Blog

During this EDTC 6433 Teaching with Technology course, taught by Professor David Wicks, the new experience of using Google+ as a regular means of participating in an online community of educators has opened my eyes to seeing new opportunities for personal and professional growth. As much as I hate to admit to this, I am a person who is rarely even on a social networking site such as Facebook (perhaps twice a year) the extent of my participation in an online educational community has been limited to interacting within the Blackboard setting for classes for my master’s in C&I program. Honestly, I rarely even text. Now, it is like I have been introduced to traveling on the “freeway” as opposed to taking the “beaten path of the backroads”. Although I  must say I have felt a significant degree of stress in the process of adjusting to the high speed and seemingly endless options of on-ramps and off-ramps, I have begun to feel more comfortable with navigating my way forward.

One of the greatest benefits of this online community interaction has been to engage in the weekly Google+ Hangouts” presented and/or facilitated by Professor Wicks. I fact, if I am not mistaken, I took part in each and every hangout. The two-way interaction with other classmates and our professor and the advantage of seeing the “live screen traversing” has been invaluable to me. I anticipate that in my final capstone class next quarter as I finish up my degree, I may use the connections established with others in this community as well as others such as Schoology (an online educational community joined recently along with a few other teachers in school) to assist me in the preparation of  my SPU C & I Portfolio, my current participation  in my school’s pilot group for the new teacher’s evaluation  process, and most of all–my teaching.

On a slightly different note, but related to engaging with educators around technology, I have recently been selected to become of trainer in my district on the new IEP software, Goalview. This is a web-based management tool to create IEP and track student progress and is currently in use nationwide. Our first “training of trainers” was today and I am enjoying the opportunity to be among the first to learn to use this new tool.

Here is a clip (below) noting one instance of my participation in Google+ Hangouts within EDTC 6433:

 Laurie James

Feb 21, 2013 (edited)  –


–  Limited (locked)

EDTC 6433 Week 8 Thursday Night Live Hangout

3 people hung out with you

Only you can see this post

Thanks +Laurie James for participating in today’s session. If you enjoy seeing technology teachers struggle with technology then you should watch today’s session. 🙂  Digital Storytelling Workshop Part 3 of 4.

#EDTC 6433 Digital Poster: Watch your Step and Stay Safe~

#EDTC 6433         # ISTE 1 – Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity, ISTE 2 – Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments, ISTE 4 – Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility > Digital Citizenship Poster – Created Using Glogster

Digital Poster for EDTC 6433

Digital Poster for EDTC 6433

Here is the link to my Glogster.

In creating this Glogster, I used materials and information provided by Seattle Pacific University professor, David Wicks, for the class EDTC  6433. This assignment is based on an article from Ribble, Bailey, and Ross, “Digital Citizenship: Addressing Appropriate Technology Behavior.”

As a high school special education teacher who works primarily with students on an individual basis or in the context of a Learning Strategies class, I decided on a format with a “checklist” theme focused on appropriate steps for students to take—in this case, when thinking about their digital footprint. The specific text used is from: Photos and the video used in this poster are from Google and U-tube, respectively.

I believe that my role as an educator includes preparing students to successfully interact in the digital world—both now as students and in the future as adults.

EDTC 6433: ISTE4: Technology–From Mimeograph to Digital and Beyond~

Student using computer to edit    EDTC6433: ISTE4 Blog 4

During this module designed to address ISTE NETS for Teachers Standard 4 – Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility,  the emphasis has been on broadening students’ perspectives to include their responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and to ensure appropriate modeling of legal and ethical behavior by the professionals in their midst. The original question I proposed was, How can I encourage my students to use technology to the greatest extent possible for their needs and to do so appropriately and wisely?

As educators, our roles do not remain static. On the contrary, we must not only adjust to the needs of our individual students, but also to the ever-changing needs in our society. When I first began to teach in the early 1980s (long before many of my colleagues in this class were born!), the newly obsolete technology at my school was the “mimeograph machine”. (If you do not know what this is, you can be thankful.) Reel to reel, film strip, and overhead projectors were standard items to be checked out from our library and rolled down to the classroom on a cart—and of course, returned by the end of the day. There were no personal computers, CDs or DVDs, and the word “digital” was associated with fingers. Having witnessed the huge technological transformation over the past thirty-plus years and given my interest as a special education teacher, the aspect of Standard 4 I find myself most drawn to is “b. Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.” 

At the beginning of this week’s module, I noted one of the concerns I have always had is for those families who do not have even the most basic access to technology. As one option to address this very real issue I shared a resource my school librarian had posted with a phone number on our website regarding information to assist families with obtaining affordable service.

While reading Millennial Learners and Net-Savvy Teens? Examining Internet Use among Low-Income Students, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there appears to be less of a difference in internet usage between high and low income students than teachers originally believed (Greenhow, Walker, & Kim, 2009, p. 67). Despite this good news, the authors acknowledged that teachers will need to be mindful of how they might “minimize what still exists as a participation gap” [Jenkins, 2006, p. 13) in level and sophistication and duration of technology and Internet” (p.67).

As one might expect, this “participation gap” can be found among teachers as well as students, and while I am not located as close to the far end of the continuum as some of my “low-tech” colleagues with whom I work, I am competitive enough to want to move further along toward the more “high tech” end. That being said, I do find that my “pre-P.C.” and “pre-web” experience allows me to relate to families who may not have sufficient access. “More” and “most” with regard to families with access reflect that in education we are moving in the right direction, however, for those “relatively few” without access, accommodations must be made to ensure participation. Somehow this reminds me very much of the role of special education teachers in ensuring student access to the general education curriculum….No wonder my focus tends to be on meeting the needs of those who “have not”.

For my students who regularly use internet resources, I must rise to the challenge of helping them to consider the-adult-they-will-become—and to understand the complex and cumulative effect of each keystroke or pressing of the “send” button as well as the responsibility and role they play in the development of both their present and their future opportunities. In light of the fact that much of my work with students is supporting them in completing assignments given by other teachers, I see particular value in encouraging use of editing resources. I agree with a comment shared by a colleague in this course who conveyed that when writing and creating, “students (must) know how to use and reference these tools correctly” (Powell, 2013). She then proceeded to share what I know from personal experience to be an extremely valuable tool, Another resource shared by my blog buddy, David Spencer, can be found at: This resource is very helpful in addressing issues surrounding plagiarism. I was pleased to realize I was somewhat familiar with this site, but also, David was very familiar with the resource which I had shared in my original post called Easy Bib This link takes you to a particularly interesting sub section called You are what you write and seems to be very informative, straightforward, and user-friendly. There are numerous links for students and teachers alike.

Owl at Purdue site

Creative Commons photo–Retrieved from:

Greenhow, Walker, & Kim (2009) Millennial Learners and Net-Savvy Teens? Examining Internet Use among Low-Income Students, Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, Vol. 26, Number 2, Winter 2009-10.

An Agent of Moral Development–on a Mission~

Human Development Week 9:

How do we become agents for moral development within the school setting? Granted my Christian faith perspective may contribute to some bias on my outlook, but how do I as an educator balance a non-relativistic approach as Kohlberg arguably espoused while working within the incredibly diverse educational environment?

Reading the article entitled, The Development of Children’s Orientations toward Moral, Social, and Personal Orders: More than a Sequence in Development, by Elliot Turiel, proved to be an incredibly challenging task for me and significantly altered by previously confident view of myself as “The Bookworm Queen” (a title I was awarded when in the 3rd grade)! Struggling to get through this, I felt as though I had lost my ability to read and comprehend! Oh well…

While reading the article, particular statements that stood out to me were related to Kolberg’s quest to understand the interconnectedness of ‘the development of moral thought to moral conduct and emotion’ (p. 8) (as cited within Turiel, p. 24). Turiel states that, “…primary emotions associated with morality are positive ones like sympathy, empathy, and respect…” and that,

…emotions do not drive thought and behavior and individuals do not simply act nonrationally or irrationally because of unconscious or unreflective emotional reactions. Emotional appraisals are part of reasoning that involves taking into account the reactions of others and self [Nussbaum, 1999]. The emotional reactions of people are a central part of moral judgments,

and it is reciprocal interactions, along with reflections upon one’s own judgments and cultural practices or societal arrangements, that influence development [Kohlberg, 1969; Turiel, 2002].  (as cited within Turiel, 2008, p. 24).

As I reflect on these thoughts and try to ponder what they could mean for me as a classroom teacher whose goal is truly as the assignment describes, “to become an agent for moral development”, I consider the fact that the students who enter my classroom (even the ones who may appear to act “irrationally” at times!), all have a “story” that led them to my door. Even if I were not a special education teacher who served high school students with IEPs, each of my students would have a personal “his-story or her-story” to tell, (although most will not tell what has contributed to their “behind-the-scenes” development—regardless of whether it is positive or negative). I consider that perhaps the “reciprocal interactions” represent experiences within their homes and other settings—and their “reflections upon (their) own judgments” (possibly representing self-esteem) have directly impacted their moral development up to this time.

With regard to Kolberg’s Stages of Moral Development and Implications for Education, in William Crain’s, Theories of Development, Chapter 7, the author describes a variety of experiments conducted by Kolberg and Blatt, involving:

…the dialectic process of Socratic teaching (where) the students give a view, the teacher asks a question that gets them to see the inadequacies of their view, and they are then motivated to formulate better positions….” and found that “Socratic classroom discussions held over several months can produce changes that, although small, are significantly greater than those found in control groups that do not receive these experiences (Rest 1983), (as cited within Crain, 2010, p. 177).

Bringing together the two worlds of “home” and “school”—I must say that as a parent, as well as a teacher, I agree with Kohlerg’s idea of “a multifaceted conception of morality that include(s) analyses of the integration of thought, emotions, actions, and development (Turiel, 2008, p.35). As I reflect on my experiences within the classroom and within my extended family, I see these factors as all having an influence on the development of a young person’s personal morality. In light of the fact that within a family, developmental influences on children are more similar than dis-similar (and yet children can still respond in such different ways), it is no surprise that influences in a more diverse environment such as is found in an educational system would yield a more widely diverse set of outcomes in terms of individual student morality.

So, as an educator, how do I become an agent for moral development within such a diverse school environment? First of all, based on my observation, I believe that regardless of the specific details of what a person in leadership believes, others (in this case, children) will look (even unconsciously) for a sense of “integration” or genuineness on the part of the leader, or teacher. I believe that the impact we have on our students (and their families) will be based more on who we are as individuals and how we interact with them as individuals– than the content we set out to specifically “teach” them. In consideration of the points I have drawn together in this post related to a student’s history of “reciprocal interactions” and possible teaching strategies such as the Socratic Method, I recall a particular time when a student asked me my opinion as to whether she should move out from her family’s home and in with her boyfriend. She looked at me with questioning and sincere eyes—patiently waiting for my response. Many thoughts went through my mind as I prayed for wisdom. The words that came out of my mouth were, “Your family will always be your family, but will your boyfriend always be your boyfriend?”

The author ends the article by stating “Imperfect social institutions and cultural practices are challenged by reasoning individuals with their capacities to stand back and take a critical view from the perspective of their moral judgments (Turiel, 2008, p. 36). Although I am still struggling to comprehend the intended meaning of this article, I believe that in an amazing and similar fashion, children are able “to stand back from the perspective of their (young and developing) moral judgments” and look at our “imperfect” selves as teachers–and see through to our true intent–as we are placed in authority over them in the school setting.  At least I pray that this is so. For years I have prayed daily for wisdom to know what to say to my students, but perhaps more importantly–when to speak and when not to speak. A new addition to my prayer is that the “primary emotions” displayed within my classroom will be “empathy and respect” –and that these will contribute to the moral development of my students.


Crain, W. C. (2011). Theories of development: Concepts and applications. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.

Turiel, W. (2008) The Development of Children’s Orientations toward Moral, Social, and Personal Orders: More than a Sequence in Development

Service Learning for Gifted Students and Adults

I found this week’s assignment to be interesting and challenging, as it required me to “think out of my usual box”. Assignment: Read through the three posted journal articles. Use these three articles (as well as any other you desire) as foundational support for a persuasive argument in the following scenario:

You have recently become concerned about a specific group of the students at your site. Academically the students are functioning well above standard and some have even tested for the district’s gifted program. However, with the building administration’s concern regarding the state standardized test and the building-wide initiative focusing resources and interventions on “bubble kids” (e.g. students who are on the edge of pass/fail) there is little attention dedicated to the needs of the “high achievers”. Some of the staff even dismiss your concerns stating, “The needs of high achievers don’t make headlines, people just care about bad test scores.”

You recognize a potential opportunity to serve this group of students by connecting the students with a local community organization (i.e. Lion’s Club, Kiwanis, Church, etc.). Your hope would be that the adults could interact with the students, providing increased academic rigor and challenge while also supplying a relevancy to the subject(s) being learned.

Using the three posted journal articles, create an outline of how you would sell this collaborative endeavor to (1) building administration and (2) the community organization leadership.

My response:

A.  Service Project: Students to work together with local fisheries personnel and local Native American tribes to assist and monitor the restoration and health of fish-bearing streams of North Kitsap County.

“Gifted adolescents develop a sense of self through various interactions with groups of people. Erikson called this trying on different hats. He believed that becoming a healthy adult is necessarily tied to resolving the crisis of identity or suffering the feelings associated with role confusion” (Cross, 2001).

B.   Rationale for Building Administration

“Erikson defined eight developmental stages during which a crisis must be resolved in order for a person to develop psychosocially without carrying forward issues tied to the previous crisis…

As the children move into adolescence, he or she must refine his or her sense of identity versus role confusion; in young adulthood, intimacy versus isolation; in middle adulthood, generativity versus despair; and in older age, integrity versus despair. According to Erikson, as the individual negotiates a crisis at each stage of development, basic strengths or virtues emerge. The following are the eight basic virtues that Erikson believed emerged across psychosocial development: hope, will purpose, competence, fidelity love, care, and wisdom, respectively.

According to Smith, “…evidence shows that participation in service learning can:

  • foster civic responsibility on the part of children, youth, and college students (Smith).
  • positively affect the cognitive and intellectual development of youths (Billig and Klute, 2003)
  • provide a sense of civic responsibility and engagement (Scales, Blyth, Berkas, and Kielsmeier, 2000).
  • contribute to improvements in self-concept and tolerance for others (Morgan and Streb, 2001)
  • build leadership skills (Billig,2002)
  • influence moral development (Conrad and Hedin, 1991) and a sense of ethics (Furco, 2002) among youth.

Provide opportunities for students to complete service hours required for culminating project.

Establish school-to-work connections for students with the community.

“Guiding the development of gifted children requires adults to work together in seeing that the children successfully resolve the crises that Erikson outlined in the eight stages of psychosocial development” (Cross, 2001, p. 4)

C.  Rationale for Community Organization Leadership

According to Smith: Service learning presents many opportunities for adult participants to:

  • develop and maintain close relationships with other people,
  • give care to those in need, and
  • balance one’s needs with a responsibility to care for others
  •  …(possibly) contribute to an “ethic of care” as a consequence of being in a helping, caregiver, or service provider role (Smith, p 10).

“A particularly relevant dimension of psychosocial maturity is development of generativity among adults… Generativity concerns the ability to care for and provide for the next generation” (Smith, p. 10).


Brazelton, T., & Greenspan, S. I. (2006). Why children need ongoing nurturing relationships. Early Childhood Today, 21(1), 14-15.

Cross, T. L. (2001). Gifted children and Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. Gifted Child Today, 24(1), 54-55,61.

Smith, M. (2008). Does service learning promote adult development? Theoretical perspectives and directions for research. New Directions For Adult And Continuing Education, (118), 5-15.