CWI's Model for Place-Based, Service-Learning and Sustainability Education
"I will use this process and knowledge to change how our school gets students involved in their community. I found myself becoming even more determined about the role that service-learning can have in our school. It’s inspiring to see and hear from practitioners who are doing the work in schools. I had a chance to really think through service-learning and better understand what teachers are dealing with. The instructors were really tuned into the group’s mastery of the concepts. Thank you for taking a leadership role.”
Vernita Vallez, Principal
Inter-American Magnet School
We believe that both students and the educators are most deeply engaged when they are involved in learning experiences that enable them to apply skills and content knowledge to real needs in their community.
Place as the Context, Service-Learning as the Strategy,
Sustainable Communities as the Goal
The CWI Model
The CWI model can be applied across K-16 or community based settings, to any academic skill, content, or program area. The CWI model may be used for a single project, or as part of a long term program or campus wide focus on service and community engagement. We use a framework that sets one's local place as the context with service at the center of experience. The goal is to contribute to a sustainable and just community. CWI alumni comment
"I plan to incorporate this model into my teaching. I want to start now!"
Julie Pidgeon, 7/8 Language Arts & Social Studies
Our Core Principles
We have identified four core principles that we emphasize in our professional development and program design work. These core principles came out of our experience working with educators in the field over many years. Applying these principles help to set the stage for successful service-learning and long lasting academic and social development.
The work resonates strongly with educators and students personally and has a clearly understood value to the community.
Learning objectives are well defined, understood by all, and connected to standards, local curriculum and school or program goals.
Emphasis is placed upon investing students as real partners and collaborators in the experience.
The experience is intentionally deepened and learning is reinforced through multiple and creative forms of reflection.
"You do not have to carve out special time in the day to make service-learning happen. It can become a part of your daily curriculum and routine. I left the Institute excited and energized to start the new school year.”
Tina Phelps, 7th Grade Science Teacher
St. Albans Town Educational Center
Curriculum projects and programs that use the CWI model incorporate a series of field tested best practices, at both the instructional and site level. New relationships and roles, along with partnerships with the local community are an important and inherent part of this process. Deepened collaborations among educators, students and community members are a result of learning to work together in new ways.