Creating Context for Civic Engagement through the Study of Social Issues
Bower, Janine A.
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Preparing college students as personally and socially responsible members of society is commonly reflected in institutional learning goals which incorporate outcomes for advancing the development of knowledge, values, motivation and skills related to civic engagement and the formation of civic identity. We suggest a method for providing a context for civic engagement in social sciences courses where students are introduced to skills useful for studying, understanding, and addressing issues of public concern. Students engage in a series of activities focusing on interrelated social issues, in this case food insecurity and food waste, and complete a capstone assignment in which they reflect upon their learning over the semester. A capstone writing assignment provides student the opportunity to reflect upon their experience, the qualitative results from which are used to assess attainment of learning objectives associated with civic engagement.