Critical Service Learning Toolkit offers a strengths-based, interdisciplinary approach to promoting social competence while enhancing emotional and academic skill development. Designed as a user-friendly guide to carrying out successful CSL projects, this Toolkit provides practitioners with
step-by-step assistance in planning, implementing, and evaluating Critical Service Learning (CSL) projects in elementary and high schools. CSL trains youth to become active and conscientious citizens through engagement and leadership experiences that meet real needs in the community. This approach
is unique in that it places the youth/student at the center of the process. Prioritizing social and emotional learning (SEL) and school engagement, CSL changes the role of the school-based, counseling professional into that of a facilitator who encourages skill-building, reflection, and civic
Cultivating self-awareness, social-consciousness, and critical-thinking skills, brainstorming and community web mapping activities serve as the cornerstone of CSL and allow youth to become comfortable articulating concerns about their communities. By extending learning beyond the classroom and into
the community, CSL enhances what is taught throughout the school curriculum, at all levels, and fosters a sense of civic responsibility and social agency.
About the Authors
Annette Johnson, MSW, MA, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on social and emotional learning and critical service learning. Having served as director of social work for Chicago Public schools for fourteen years, Ms. Johnson has a keen interest in developing strength-based practices in schools. She has also trained school social workers and school districts around the nation on the utilization of innovative approaches in school social work practice.
Cassandra McKay-Jackson, PhD, MSSW, is an Associate Professor in the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. McKay-Jackson's research examines how social work interventions develop social agency of urban youth.
Giesela Grumbach, PhD, MSW, is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Governors State University. Dr Grumbach's research focuses on social work practice in communities and schools as well as the issues that affect direct practice.