“Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best, but Realistically, Expect a Combination of Both”: Lessons and Best Practices Emerging From Community-Engaged Teaching During a Health Crisis

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Abstract

This article outlines a framework that I implemented when delivering a community-engaged course during the earlier days of COVID-19. I argue that these guiding principles—centering the community partners’ needs, assessing and remaining flexible to students’ circumstances, and cautiously mapping and selectively using institutional resources to deliver the course—allowed me to provide a community-engaged experience to undergraduate students despite pandemic restrictions. At the same time, I ensured that the intersectional feminist and critical ethos of the class was not compromised and that the commitment to the community partners’ sustainability was not cast aside. Additionally, I share two detailed exemplars of community-based learning projects this framework. I close this piece with several points of departure to stimulate future conversation among educators, researchers, and practitioners on the role of community-based service-learning during times of societal crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement
Volume25
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and comments. Thanks also to the University of Minnesota Rochester Community Collaborative faculty team for their efforts and talents in supporting community partners in the area.

Publisher Copyright:
© Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Volume 25, Number 3, p. 35, (2021)

Keywords

  • centering the partnerships
  • critical community-engaged learning
  • pandemic teaching
  • student-centered

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