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Going Public

Civic and Community Engagement

Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Judith Primavera

Publication Year: 2013

The terms “civic engagement” and “community engagement” have various definitions, but they are united by the sense that individuals who are civically engaged not only are concerned about the quality of life in their communities but also take action to improve conditions for the common good. In the United States, to be civically engaged means to actively participate in a civil democratic society. Going Public examines programs related to civic engagement and the ways in which faculty and students participate in communities in order to improve them. Engagement scholarship is a scholarship of action, a scholarship of practice that takes place both in and with the community. Within the framework of this new scholarship, the mission of the academy does not begin and end with intellectual discovery and fact-finding. Rather, the academy joins forces with the community, and together they use their knowledge and resources to address pressing social, civic, economic, and moral problems. Each chapter in this book tells a unique story of community engagement and the scholarship of practice in a diverse range of settings, documenting successes and failures, the unintended consequences, and the questions yet to be answered.

Published by: Michigan State University Press


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pp. 8-9

Part 1. Scholarship-Focused Civic Engagement and Service Learning

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pp. 3-11

The founding of Campus Compact in 1985 was intended to connect students to the “civic purposes of higher education.” Whether Campus Compact sparked higher education’s efforts to reconnect with society will be debated by historians, but it seems that Campus Compact stoked more than kindling when it encouraged higher education to develop students’ citizenships skills by providing them with opportunities to work as volunteers in community contexts. ...

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The Challenges of Scholarship

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pp. 13-32

What is scholarship? Or perhaps the question really is: what is valued scholarship? Academic achievement for faculty and increasingly graduate and undergraduate students is typically measured in terms of scholarship. However, there continues to be a lack of clarity and consistency in defining and assessing scholarship on university campuses worldwide. Many people have a good sense of the term; others will tell you that they know it when they see it. However, this does not speak to the various forms of scholarship that persist. ...

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Undergraduate Research: Blending the Scholarship of Discovery, Teaching, Application, and Integration

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pp. 33-49

Traditionally, academic research has focused on discovery—uncovering new knowledge, finding new ways to solve problems, or using new data to revise and clarify previous understanding. In a seminal discussion of the professoriate, Boyer describes this process of discovery as “the commitment to knowledge for its own sake, to freedom of inquiry and to following, in a disciplined fashion, an investigation wherever it may lead” (Boyer, 1990, p. 17). ...

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From Passive Transfer of Knowledge to Active Engaged Learning: A Reflection and Commentary

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pp. 51-70

This chapter offers one professor’s personal reflection on almost 20 years of service learning methods and experience in the context of general education courses at Michigan State University, followed by a response regarding the future of civic engagement and service learning by the director of Michigan State University’s Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. ...

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Intersecting Civic Engagement with Distance Education

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pp. 71-81

This chapter examines opportunities and challenges of integrating community-based research and civic engagement in higher education programs where students are distant from faculty and campus. Such programs often rely on technology-enhanced teaching/learning delivered through the Internet or interactive television. Building relationships between faculty, students, and communities involves special opportunities and challenges when interactions are mediated by technology and parties are geographically dispersed. ...

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Can Civic Engagement Rescue the Humanities?

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pp. 83-92

The relationship between the civic engagement movement and the contemporary humanities reminds me of a Nora Ephron movie like Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail. Typically, the movie begins with two single, upwardly mobile characters who face a growing void in their otherwise successful lives. Serendipity steers them to each other. Circumstance or plain dumb luck often intrudes and keeps them apart. ...

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Service Learning through Public Work and Public Deliberation

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pp. 93-106

During the spring semester of 2002, we both taught integrated classes in the Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures (WRAC) program at Michigan State University. That course is described at length below. This experience turned out to be a watershed teaching experience for each of us. Coo per was a veteran of service-learning pedagogy at that time, and Fretz, through Cooper’s mentoring, was just beginning to experiment with the pedagogy. Now, a decade later, we are taking this opportunity to refl ect on how these ...

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Service Learning and Civic Engagement as Preparation for a Life Committed to Working for the Common Good: The Michigan State University/Rust College Student Tutorial Education Project, 1965–1968

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pp. 107-127

During the summer months of 1965–68, 97 student volunteers and 10 faculty members from Michigan State University volunteered in a service-learning project at Rust College, a small African American liberal arts college in Holly Springs, Mississippi. The college was founded by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1866 and celebrated its 145th commencement ceremony in May 2011. Like many colleges, Rust adheres to the three pillars of education: teaching, research, and community service. ...

Part 2. Community Engagement and the Scholarship of Practice

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pp. 131-135

The “new scholarship” set in motion by Boyer, Lynton, and the Kellogg Commission is a scholarship of action, a scholarship of practice that takes place both in and with the community. This scholarship of practice challenges higher education’s age-old accepted epistemologies and requires a new set of norms regarding what counts as legitimate knowledge and what methodologies are acceptable means of acquiring such knowledge (Schön, 1995). It is a scholarship that frees the academy from the confi nement of its ...

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Wiba Anung: Co-creating a Sustainable Partnership with Michigan’s American Indian Head Start Programs

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pp. 137-161

It is often the case that an event planned for one purpose leads to unintended consequences. In this chapter, we describe an unintended consequence that has produced a multi-year partnership between researchers at Michigan State University and the Early Head Start and Head Start programs operated by the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. (ITC Michigan), the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and the Sault Saint ...

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Cross-Cultural Community Engagement, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s Model of Death and Dying, and Racial Identity Development

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pp. 163-176

Scholars have proposed that Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s model of death and dying can be applied to any change that requires loss or, vice versa, to any loss that requires change (Goldsworthy, 2005). The community engagement process is one that involves significant change, negotiation, adaptation, and even loss. Within the community engagement process, constituents are challenged to try to understand one another, to work in partnership, and to ...

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Hard Time: What We Can Learn from Long-Range Community Involvement in Prisons and Jails

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pp. 177-199

I wrote that poem as I become sharply aware of the privilege I had as a college educator coming from Georgetown University and going inside a maximum security penal institution. Astonished that our goodwill as volunteers was being questioned, we grumbled as the zealous guards reported to the “white-shirt” officers that we had given away books to inmates in our college courses instead of carrying those books back out with us when we left. We were struck by their underlying image of education as something that occurred only in a ...

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Illuminating the Terrain of Community Engagement in Landscape Architecture Education

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pp. 201-220

“Illuminating the Terrain” is an exploratory study of how professional academic programs integrate community engagement around the issues of community design and land use. Real-life design projects are a mainstay of landscape architecture (LA) studio courses across North America and a lively topic with many CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture) members. However, a systematic look at how we do it, why we do it, and what we know does not exist. ...

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Beyond Tomorrow: Charting a Long-Term Course toward Community Impact in Local Public Education

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pp. 221-236

An important reason for “going public” is to improve the “public” with whom universities and their constituents are engaged. Although service learning and community-based research (CBR) have at least an implicit aim to do just that (Ehrlich, 2000; Parks Daloz, Keen, Keen, & Daloz Parks, 1996; Peters, 2005), many who are involved in all manner of higher education community engagement voice the concern that effects on communities simply do not get enough attention. Critics of common modes of higher education community ...

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Steppin’ Up: The Oneonta Community Alliance for Youth, Grassroots Democracy, and the Battle for Public Space

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pp. 237-250

Understanding the social forces that bring us together or keep us apart and the role of communities in that dynamic are central foci of the discipline of sociology. Connecting young people to their communities through institutions and traditions is a key task for societies, one with which we struggle as some of the formerly integrative dimensions of communities, like neighborhoods, crumble and new ones emerge, including youth culture itself. As families work longer hours and experience more stress in dealing with the demands of ...

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The Ocmulgee River Initiative: Engaging the Community in Aquatic Research

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pp. 251-264

The greatest joys of a researcher-e ducator are to “solve problems” and to see our students transform from pupils to professionals. For so many research scientists, the professional focus follows a reductionist perspective, asking questions about specifi c problems, developing testing strategies that address the problem statement, and conveying the outcomes of the experimentation to professionals who are involved in common reductionist endeavors. Consequently, a student researcher’s success is measured by the student’s capacity to delve ...

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Going Public through International Museum Partnerships

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pp. 265-289

University museums have a long and distinguished history in serving their campus communities of faculty, staff, and students as well as the residents of the towns and cities in which they are located. While today university museums continue to serve these traditionally expected constituents, many university museums are now also expected to be more broadly and deeply engaged within and beyond those previous spheres. They ...

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Poco a Poco: Weaving Transnational Solidarity with Jolom Mayaetik, Mayan Women’s Weaving Cooperative, Chiapas, Mexico

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pp. 291-307

The above quote, from a compañera with whom I worked during the last fourteen years in Chiapas, Mexico, captured the bottom-line realities involved in an emerging, dynamic, and complex transnational and intercultural partnership. Organizing with Jolom Mayaetik, an autonomous, Mayan women’s weaving cooperative composed of 200 members from the highlands of Chiapas, within the context of the academy, I moved from tourist to academic observer and finally to a solidarity relationship ...

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When University and Community Partner: Community Engagement and Transformative Systems-Level Change

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pp. 309-322

This chapter is the story of a university-community partnership that illustrates the potential that community engagement has to produce systems-level transformational change in the institutional culture of both partners. The partnership is between Fairfield University and Action for Bridgeport Community Development’ s Early Learning–Head Start Program. Its official name is the Adrienne Kirby Family Literacy Project. From its inception, the Kirby Literacy Project’s goals focused on improving low-income preschoolers’ school readiness ...


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pp. 323-331

E-ISBN-13: 9781609173791
E-ISBN-10: 1609173791
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611860894
Print-ISBN-10: 161186089X

Page Count: 339
Illustrations: 27
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1st Hardcover

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Service learning -- United States.
  • Civics -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States.
  • Education, Higher -- Social aspects -- United States.
  • Community and college -- United States.
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