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Fostering Student Leadership in Tackling Community-Based Problems
Unformatted Document Text:  The Role of Cognitive-Affective Learning Understanding the very complex nature of public policy in general, and community social services in particular, requires a higher level of learning and social awareness than is often required in college courses (Bloom et al., 1956; Colby et al., 2007). Traditional emphasis on mere cognitive learning falls short of providing students with the skills to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate policy problems, despite the fact that such an understanding of policy-making is a key component of developing student political participation. Fostering a greater connection between cognitive and affective learning components can result not only in deep and enduring student learning, but perhaps equally important, in increased youth political participation (Chickering, 2006; Owen-Smith, 2004; Colby et al., 2007). Through the service-learning component in which students participate hands-on in the policy realm while keeping detailed journals and writing thoughtful responses that respond to instructor prompts, students experience first-hand concepts such as opportunity costs, cost-benefit ratios. The emphasis on meta- cognition fosters deep learning and connection-building between traditional course content and service-learning. Government in Action: Public Policy, Spring, 08 By early January, 2008, student enrollment in Public Policy had nearly reached the maximum, with 24 students. Once the first week of the semester had been completed, representatives from CPF had visited the class, and course expectations and service learning obligations had been explained, only 14 students remained enrolled. Interestingly, most of the students who made the decision to drop the course in the first week either contacted me by email or in person to let me know that they were sorry to be 9

Authors: Sylvester, Dari.
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The Role of Cognitive-Affective Learning
Understanding the very complex nature of public policy in general, and
community social services in particular, requires a higher level of learning and social
awareness than is often required in college courses (Bloom et al., 1956; Colby et al.,
2007). Traditional emphasis on mere cognitive learning falls short of providing students
with the skills to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate policy problems, despite the fact that
such an understanding of policy-making is a key component of developing student
political participation. Fostering a greater connection between cognitive and affective
learning components can result not only in deep and enduring student learning, but
perhaps equally important, in increased youth political participation (Chickering, 2006;
Owen-Smith, 2004; Colby et al., 2007). Through the service-learning component in
which students participate hands-on in the policy realm while keeping detailed journals
and writing thoughtful responses that respond to instructor prompts, students experience
first-hand concepts such as opportunity costs, cost-benefit ratios. The emphasis on meta-
cognition fosters deep learning and connection-building between traditional course
content and service-learning.
Government in Action: Public Policy, Spring, 08
By early January, 2008, student enrollment in Public Policy had nearly reached
the maximum, with 24 students. Once the first week of the semester had been completed,
representatives from CPF had visited the class, and course expectations and service
learning obligations had been explained, only 14 students remained enrolled.
Interestingly, most of the students who made the decision to drop the course in the first
week either contacted me by email or in person to let me know that they were sorry to be
9


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