Butin Looks at Service-Learning – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Butin Looks at Service-Learning

Dan Butin, author of “Service-Learning in Theory and Practice: The Future of Community Engagement in Higher Education,” will join the Colleges on Wednesday, Nov. 9, to speak about his book as well as his research on service-learning. The talk will be held at 3 p.m. in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.

“As the former CFO of Teach for America, Butin has given much consideration to this important pedagogy and how we can collaboratively and strategically approach the issue of service learning,” says Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Katie Flowers.

Much of Butin’s work focuses on challenging the notion that service learning is simply a broad-based pedagogy rather than a movement that can be fully integrated into academic institutions as a new discipline and the basis for academic majors and minors. Butin cites other social movements – such as the women’s movement – as examples of ideologies that have successfully developed into important interdisciplinary fields and academic departments.

Throughout the semester, members of HWS faculty and staff have met as a small reading group to discuss Butin’s book. While on the HWS campus, Butin will meet with these groups as well as with faculty who developed the Social Justice Studies minors, and members of the Service Learning Advisory Council.

“The intent of the conversations is to learn from Butin’s experience as national leader in the field, and to welcome critique of current service-learning efforts so that HWS can maximize the potential of this innovative and impactful practice,” says Flowers.  

Butin is the founding dean of the school of education at Merrimack College and an associate professor of education. He is the author and editor of more than 60 academic publications, including “Service-Learning and Social Justice Education” and “Teaching Social Foundations of Education.”  His book, “Service-Learning in Theory and Practice: The Future of Community Engagement in Higher Education,” won the 2010 Critics Choice Book Award of the American Educational Studies Association.

The visit is sponsored by the Provost’s Office and CCESL. His talk is free and open to the public.