Call for Proposals: OSU Service-Learning Conference

Call for Proposals for a Small Working Conference: 

 “To Learn and to Serve: Critical Service-Learning Initiatives and Community Engagements”


The Ohio State University

October 18, 2012 (Evening: Tentatively Scheduled Opening/Community Gathering)

October 19, 2012 (All-Day: Presentations/Workshops)

October 20, 2012 (Half-Day: Poster Sessions, Presentations, Closing Session)

Submission Deadline:  May 7, 2012

Overview & Invitation:

This conference will bring together students, teachers, teacher educators, researchers, school and university administrators, and community members and organizations to explore intersections of service-learning initiatives and community engagements across K-16 settings. Service-learning—traditionally defined as a multifaceted approach to integrating classroom instruction and academic research with meaningful community service—has the potential to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, impact educational policy, and strengthen partnerships within schools, universities, and communities. Long recognized as an effective strategy for inspiring student learning, engagement, and activism as well as increasing civic participation, service-learning has been credited with raising high school graduation rates, motivating students to go to and complete college, and encouraging civic participation.

However, some continue to view service-learning as volunteer work or community service that does not impact teaching, learning, research, and policy decisions within schools and universities, and across local, national, and global communities. Thus, the unfair disassociation of service-learning from real world experiences involving a variety of activities such as critical reading, writing, questioning, thinking, problem posing, and collaborating for social, political, and educational change. This conference, “To Learn and to Serve: Critical Service-Learning Initiatives and Community Engagements,” will highlight innovative approaches to engaging SL across contexts in ways that support students’ academic experiences. Although not a requirement, we encourage proposals that include K-16 students, teachers, and community reps. The organizing committee is interested in reviewing proposals that address a variety of questions including, but not limited to, the following:

  • What might a critical service-learning project entail? What does current research in service-learning say?
  • What are teaching ideas/practices that facilitate student engagement and support academic achievement?
  • What are examples of high-quality service-learning projects across grade levels and content areas?
  • What do students have to say about service-learning initiatives and community engagement?
  • How can service-learning initiatives foster community engagement grounded in social justice?
  • How can service-learning respond to 21st century literacy and technological demands?
  • How can educational and community-based partnerships support service-learning projects?
  • In what ways can spaces of engagement foster social change, activism, and civic participation for students, teachers, researchers, and community members and groups? How might these spaces look?
  • Do service-learning projects have academic, social, and/or psychological influences on people across K-16 and community settings?

Program Formats:

Workshop: (1 hour to 1 hour & 15 minutes). Workshops allow participants to consider an idea and try out practical strategies by which to design, implement, participate in, and/or sustain service-learning projects.

Roundtable: (1 hour plus). This is an opportunity to talk with others about your current work, emerging ideas, classroom data, and/or innovative practices. A variety of topics related to the conference theme can be explored.

Paper/Panel Session: (1 hour plus). This format enables presenters (3-4) to discuss a topic in-depth.

Poster Session: (ongoing) Poster sessions offer teaching/research/community ideas displayed on a mounted poster for presenters to engage participants in conversation about their service-learning work.

Send Submissions To:

Submission Deadline:  May 7, 2012



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