Community-based education should encourage students and faculty members to learn and work with communities, rather than just work in communities. An important principle of this model of pedagogy is that university and community participants learn from each other--a dynamic process that strengthens the links between service and learning, theory and practice, learning and doing, university and community. Too often professionals enter communities that have diverse histories and cultures with limited knowledge of these communities and their own firmly-established agendas. Too often the desire to "help" ends up creating a lop-sided power dynamic which serves to disable local voices. CCPD instead seeks to collaborate as equals with community-based organizations and individuals working for economic and environmental justice, bringing to the process our experience with planning, zoning, housing, and environmental policies in New York City’s neighborhoods.
"Service Learning in Design and Planning," co-edited by CCPD director Tom Angotti, critically explores the current practice of community-engaged learning in architecture, landscape design and urban planning, radically revising the standard protocol for university-initiated projects. The lively examination of real-life collaborations charts a new pedagogy for educators, with guidelines for an inclusive and collaborative design process.
To purchase a copy of "Service Learning: Educating at the Boundaries" or to read more about this educational resource, click here.