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Example Assignment From Pasadena City College


For each of the remaining weeks in the program, use your journal to find connections between your experiences in the STAR program and some of the readings we have done in class. If you want to substitute a different article that seems more appropriate to your situation, you may do so but make clear , specific references that show why you chose that piece.

First Session Reading Allport "In Groups"

What "In Groups" do you see in your STAR classroom? Do you see any reference groups? What are they? What kind of power and influence do they have? Do you see other examples of in-groups and/or reference groups at Wilson School. What kinds of effects do these groups have? How does this information add to your understanding of the Wilson students that you work with?

Second Session Reading : Peavy - "Obstacles to Change"

What obstacles to change do you observe in your STAR program experience? You might start by looking at the Wilson students that you work with, your partner(s), the Wilson teacher you work with or yourself. Where do you see resistance to change? What information from the Peavy article could help you to understand that resistance better? Why? How? How could this information affect your attitude or actions in this situation?

Third Session Reading: Anyon - "Education and Social Class"

According to Anyon, how would you categorize your classroom? Is it Affluent Professional? Working Class? Executive Elite? A mixture? What do you observe in your classroom that corresponds to some of Anyonís examples? What do you see that might be different? What can you conclude about your classroom and the students that you work with from this?

Fourth Session Reading: Peavy - "Tales of Change"

Peavy states that everyone has an internalized model of change, a way in which they think change works. One example could be people in India whose big change was winning independence from the British . Due to Ghandiís effectiveness, they could see nonviolent Civil Disobedience as a way to create change. What is your change model or story? What effect has the STAR program had on it? How? Why?

How could you uncover change models or change stories can you find in your Wilson classroom? What might these be? What connections can you make between this article and some of your earlier readings and observations?

English 1C:Scholarsí Option

Service Learning Reflection Paper

Write a six page paper in which you analyze a critical incident, relate it specifically to the articles on "Change" by Peavy and address the following questions. Ideally the critical incident will serve as a focal point for the questions, that is as you discuss the incident, youíll address the questions as well.

Your paper must focus on the topic of change, although there is some leeway in your approach. You may choose ONE of the following options:

1. Form your own well-supported definition of change.

2. Using Peavyís model discuss resistances to change that youíve encountered and what youíve learned from them.

3. Apply your own change model or story to the STAR program experience.

4. Discuss how othersí models of change affected your experience


Before you begin your outline and draft, write two or three pages of notes addressing all of the following questions. You will be turning these notes in along with your paper, so be quite thorough.

After you have answered the last question, you should have the basis for a thesis statement. Check carefully and ask yourself "Is this what the most significant thing Iíve learned from this experience?" If it is not, then try the last step again.

A. Identify a critical incident that represents a significant part of your Service Learning experience.

  • What issues are involved?
  • Why are these important issues for you at this time?
  • Could they hold any significance for other people? Why?

B .Clearly describe the relevant details and circumstances surrounding the incident. Also describe the people involved and their relationship to you. Strive to be specific, detailed and precise in your descriptions.

C. Describe your role in the incident -

  • What you did,
  • How you acted,
  • How others reacted to your actions, etc.
  • How did you feel about the incident at that time?
  • What consequences were there?

D. Analyze the incident.

  • How do you feel now about the way you acted at the time of the event?
  • How well or badly did you understand the situation?
  • Were there other perspectives to be considered?
  • Was your response appropriate? Why, or why not?
  • What would you do in the same way? What would you change? Why?

E. What have you learned from this incident?

  • Did you learn anything about your personal or cultural values, and/or gender assumptions?
  • Did you learn anything about your expectations and responsibilities as a member of your campus and community?
  • How does the incident relate specifically to the concept of Change
  • Do you see service work differently now? If so, how? Why?
  • Has this experience had any impact on the way you see yourself and your ability to create changes in your environment? If so , How? Why?
  • How did this experience confirm, contradict, complicate, augment alter, subvert, or enhance your definition of change? Why? How? What does this imply?
  • What other underlying related concepts might be involved or affected by your new understanding?

    Use the answer to these questions (in step "E") to shape your thesis statement.


After youíve revised your thesis and checked to see if its argumentative, construct an outline, with at least three main points that help to prove your thesis, to show why and how it is true. Review your outline and ask if it does prove your thesis. Revise it when necessary.

Now begin a draft that is mainly analytical and argumentative, not just a retelling of your experience , but an analysis of what you learned from it and how specific elements of the class contributed to your learning process.


Find a class member to exchange papers with, and get a written critique of your draft.

Following that, devise a plan for revision, in which you note the problems that the draft still has and the solutions to those problems. You will turn this in as well.

Remember that revision is a very important part of the critical thinking process. If you need to entirely change our approach or come up with a new thesis - do so!

In all likelihood, the less your final version resembles the first draft, the better and more well thought out it will be.


Revise your draft at least once and turn the final version of the paper in along with your notes, draft, revision plan and journal.


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