Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Service Learning: From Middle Class Volunteerism to Critical Analysis

Ellen L. Smith.

This workshop explores the dangers of designing service learning activities which reinforce the middle class notion that volunteerism is the answer to poverty. For five years the presenter has been taking students from a rural public university in the Midwest U.S. to teach in the rural hills of Manchester, Jamaica. Through a process of portfolio assessment, the experience has become more rooted in critical analysis of colonialism at home as well as abroad. Students who have made the transition will tell their stories.


Ellen L. Smith  (United States)
Lecturer in Pluralism
Department of Educational Foundations, College of Education
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

University lecturer for past 12 years, former high school teacher (17 years). Interests include "at-risk" youth, urban education, contemporary American Indian issues, and International service learning.

  • Service Learning
  • Teaching
  • Third World
  • Critical Analysis
  • Portfolio Assessment

(60 min. Workshop, English)