Learning Through Service: Ch. 7
Ch. 7 Failure with the Best of Intentions
By: Janelle Voegele and Devorah Lieberman
When things go wrong we tend to get defensive and blame someone for it. In this chapter we examine that roadblocks and conflicts can be avoided and redirected. Service learning is often an experience of uncharted territory with new places and faces but it is important to take each speed bump as an opportunity to learn from and respond to. Realizing ahead of time that we are most likely going to come in contact with people who have different views from ours or may not understand our thoughts. This isn’t to say that our servicing experience is doomed. What this means is that we need to be aware of the differences we may face and be open and willing to work in a positive direction so that the greater outcome isn’t compromised.
This reading discusses the ways in which we can deal with the differences we will face in a service learning environment and how they can and should be dealt with. For the best results in a diverse working community it is best to use the D-U-E Process and describe what we observe, understand culture and personality differences and encourage the communication for a successful outcome.
The realization of things going wrong or not turning out the way I expected have made me feel that I am embarking on a real life journey. The Ghana Field School will be a real experience with positive and possibly negative outcomes. Not knowing what shape it will take is more of a feeling of excitement and curiosity then fear. I feel that this opportunity in service learning will only be a chance for learning. I think that knowing things probably wont go as expected is an important viewpoint to take with oneself. I believe this reading has put the reality of the service learning experience into perspective and made me realize that imperfection is only a part of the process but doesn’t have to be a controlling part. Our jobs as learners is to frame, reframe and define what we see as we move through the process. I know that using these tools will result in a positive learning experience as we learn to work with others in what may be a stressful but rewarding experience.