Creating Civic Engagement through the AC Classroom

This event was held on October 21, 2007 as part of the American Cultures Spotlight Series

American Cultures courses necessitate the inclusion of multiple perspectives on often contentious, conceptual points. Such instructional material necessitates the development of very particular teaching tools to create a learning space open enough to accommodate varied interpretation, yet structured enough to allow constructive direction. It might be argued that the ideal working environment for an American Cultures course is the creation of an inclusive classroom that is supported by service-learning based initiatives. Inclusive classrooms are those in which instructors and students work together to create and sustain an environment in which everyone feels supported and encouraged to express her or his views and concerns. In these classrooms, the content is explicitly viewed from the multiple perspectives and varied experiences of a range of groups. Content is presented in a manner that reduces all students' experiences of marginalization and, wherever possible, helps students understand that individuals' experiences, values, and perspectives influence how they construct knowledge in any field or discipline.

This roundtable will include Berkeley instructors who will share their experiences in service-based learning, explaining how innovative service-learning creates civic engagement and brings issues of diversity, equity, and multiculturalism to the forefront of the American Cultures classroom experience.

Moderated by Dr. Andy Furco, Director Service Learning Research & Development Center, Asst. Adj. Professor of Education