In the most recent issue of Serve InDEED: Tennessee Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, three members of the English faculty published work connected to their service-learning practices in the classroom. In a piece titled “This Isn’t Your Mother’s English Class: Using Service-Learning Experiences to Improve Writing in the Composition Classroom,” Drs. Jason Lovvorn, Linda Holt and Charmion Gustke unpack an interactive workshop they conducted at the 2013 Tennessee Conference on Volunteerism and Service-Learning, held in Franklin, Tenn. In the workshop they shared ideas about the impact of service-learning in their writing classes, and they guided participants through a simulation and two writing exercises that showcased connections between service encounters, empathy, learning and writing. The article details this workshop experience and analyzes response data from workshop participants in terms of social justice, experiential knowledge and authentic writing.
In the same issue Lovvorn published an article titled, “‘Knowing the Why’: Personal Writing and Its Value in the Service-Learning Classroom.” He argues for the merits of personal, expressive writing because it encourages service-learning students to “synthesize intimate experience and more abstract academic knowledge. ” Using examples of student work from past service-learning classes, he shows how students can use personal writing to make important intellectual connections at the same time they produce engaging written work.