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A Value Added Model of Service Learning in Political Science Courses
Unformatted Document Text:  waking a declaration about their political identity. They are defining who they are politically and consciously choosing to increase their commitment to that identity through the financial contributions that is required ….” (Jeffery Berry, p. 369 in Skocpol and Fiorina). Students have many opportunities to participate in broad public policy areas through campaigns, internships and other kinds of projects. We believe it is also important to stress that an important feature of political participation must include not just the campaign activities students traditionally engage in, but the research that creates publicly relevant knowledge. We certainly do not mean to deemphasize political work involving campaigning and advocacy; rather, we want to stress the kind of service opportunities that develop the intellectual tools that enable students to participate in public life, especially on the community level, as researchers and analysts. III: OUR MODEL: A PUBLIC RESEARCH MODEL OF SERVICE Each of the models of service learning we have reviewed provide important avenues for developing the incentives, motivations, dispositions and behavioral commitments that lead students to become more civically engaged. What we want to emphasize is the need to more aggressively address the development of skills that service oriented political science courses can develop in students and which can lead to the kind of research projects that benefit the community. Our model focuses on student-generated public knowledge that uses service learning courses as its fundamental building block. While there is no shortage of need for college students to build homes, plant trees and work with children, there is nothing 14

Authors: Borick, Christopher. and Gambino, Giacomo.
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waking a declaration about their political identity. They are defining who they are
politically and consciously choosing to increase their commitment to that identity through
the financial contributions that is required ….” (Jeffery Berry, p. 369 in Skocpol and
Fiorina).
Students have many opportunities to participate in broad public policy areas
through campaigns, internships and other kinds of projects. We believe it is also
important to stress that an important feature of political participation must include not
just the campaign activities students traditionally engage in, but the research that creates
publicly relevant knowledge. We certainly do not mean to deemphasize political work
involving campaigning and advocacy; rather, we want to stress the kind of service
opportunities that develop the intellectual tools that enable students to participate in
public life, especially on the community level, as researchers and analysts.
III: OUR MODEL: A PUBLIC RESEARCH MODEL OF SERVICE
Each of the models of service learning we have reviewed provide important
avenues for developing the incentives, motivations, dispositions and behavioral
commitments that lead students to become more civically engaged. What we want to
emphasize is the need to more aggressively address the development of skills that service
oriented political science courses can develop in students and which can lead to the kind
of research projects that benefit the community.
Our model focuses on student-generated public knowledge that uses service
learning courses as its fundamental building block. While there is no shortage of need for
college students to build homes, plant trees and work with children, there is nothing
14


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