Service-Learning in Art & Art History
Thank you for your interest in service-learning in Art and Art History. The CCE can help you create or deepen your service-learning class. We provide models of other courses, sample syllabi, resources for course construction, reflective analysis tools, and risk management support.
Service-learning activity usually falls into two categories:
TYPE 1) Teaching/tutoring/sharing knowledge from the class
Example: Several California State Universities (CSU) in Southern California participated in a service learning program called Getty LINKING, which paired art students with community partners throughout the southland. Photography students from CSU Fullerton (CSUF) partnered with the Highland Learning Center in Orange, California. The CSUF students worked with low-income children and their families to learn about photography and create family portraits. One student reflected “This changed me as a person to realize that I am very fortunate to be able to have the lifestyle I live today. Many times I do take it for granted and forget but at times like these it’s a reality check. Overall, it was a great experience to help out the community and give some time to kids that need it.” The community partner said, “The whole experience was wonderful. I would do it again and again. It’s not charity; it is an investment because we’re giving the students the tools to survive.”
TYPE 2) Using information in the class to do something with/for a community organization.
Example: Art students from CSU Los Angeles partnered with a 4th grade teacher and her class from Longfellow Elementary School in Pasadena, California, to create a pen pal program. The students wrote letters to children in Baltimore, Maryland, and created “envelope art”. CSULA students also worked with the Eagle Rock Community Center in developing “fine art “response” pieces to Eagle Rock High School students’ artwork, and helped set up an art exhibition for a public viewing of their work to provide community exposure for the ERCCC. One student reflected that “the service-learning class promoted togetherness…art is a universal language, and it solidified my desire to teach and do volunteering…”. The community partner was extremely satisfied with the outcome as well, stating, “The kids were just thrilled. Children of poverty tend to be very localized—almost isolated. They may never see the ocean, as they tend to stay more in their area and not want to go out of their familiar surroundings. It’s good to have a program to broaden their geographical parameters. If they can see what college is like, then they’ll want to go—and if they can be touched at an early age, that’s great.”