What does the landscape of service-learning look like? This was the question posed to Spring 2012 CIEE Cape Town Service-Learning students as we begun our exploration of community partnership in our course of the same name: Community Partnership - Theory and Engagement. In the course we are taking a spatial approach to understanding the constituents of the service-learning experience.
We are asking: 1) What is community, and how can we understand its formation and composition?; 2) What does it mean to engage across cultures, languages and subjectivities that are different from your own?; and 3) What is the most effective and equal way of forging partnerships with people and institutions with varying assets and needs?
The mental maps conceived, drawn and presented by CIEE service-learners have formed a point of departure for their experience in Cape Town, and will no doubt be a tool for reflection as they look back upon their experience learning and growing from and within the communities where they will engage.