Teaching and Learning for Social Impact

Engaging With Community

Community Engaged Teaching and Learning* is a dynamic way to use your teaching responsibilities to contribute to social change. Community Engaged Courses create opportunities for:

[T]he linkage of academic work with community-based engagement within a framework of respect, reciprocity, relevance, and reflection.” (Butin, 2007)

Respect—valuing of and admiration for the abilities, knowledge, insights, achievements, etc. of what others are bringing to the collaboration.

Reciprocity—everyone is involved as a teacher and a learner. Everyone is contributing to the project and everyone is benefiting from the project. This requires meaningful community voice, impact, participation, and control from project planning stages, to implementation, evaluation, and public dissemination of work. We’re looking to create interdependent goals.

Relevance—the academic learning and the community learning must be integrated through the project activities, readings, assignments, learning assessments/feedback.

Reflection—Experience is never transparent. Reflection is necessary for students to make the connections between the academic learning and community engagement learning.

WashU Instructors

Did you know that you can get support to develop Community Engaged Courses through: 

A Word on Nomenclature: Historically, this form of teaching has been known as “service-learning” and is sometimes called community based learning. We use the term Community Engaged to recognize the reciprocal benefits of this work between students, faculty, and community partners. However, you will encounter these other terms in some of the linked resources.

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