SLCC Study Abroad students making connections with Japanese students and the PeaceFactory
Twelve journal entries are required. Traditional (e.g. hand-written responses, computer text document, etc.) and non-traditional (e.g. multi-media such as a slide presentation, audio journal, video journal, etc.) formats are encouraged. Each journal entry should be 2-3 paragraphs in length (or the equivalent if a non-traditional format is used) and should address the following prompts. Please include the prompt itself at the beginning of each journal entry. Ideally the prompts should be addressed in numbered order. There are no right or wrong journal entries. I am not looking for specific responses; however, journal entries lacking substantial content and reflection will not receive full points. Take the journaling as a chance to really think about the service learning experience, the people you are serving, the world in which we live, and yourself.
1. What are your expectations for this experience? What are your fears? What pre-conceived assumptions and biases do you have? What are you anxious about? Do you foresee any ethical issue arising and if so, what might they be? This journal entry should be completed before your first day of service.
2. What was your first impression? What was the first thing you noticed? Were you uncomfortable and if so, why? Did you experience culture shock? Who did you meet with? How did it go? This journal entry should be completed on the first day of service.
3. Define ethnocentrism. What ethnocentric thoughts have you had regarding the population you are serving? Keep in mind that ethnocentrism is a normal consequence of the enculturation process. What are your strategies for reducing ethnocentrism and practicing cultural relativity?
4. What are your reasons for selecting this particular community partner? In what ways is the population you are serving culturally different from you? What were you hoping to learn from the population you are serving? If you could start this experience over again, would choose the same community partner? Reflect on why or why not.
5. Bearing in mind aspects of culture (as identified by the chapter titles of your textbook (e.g. economics, kinship, marriage, arts, religion, etc.) what is something you learned about the culture of this population today? What are your feelings about the new information? In what ways is this culture similar to yours?
6. What are some challenges faced by this population? What are some of the underlying causes of these challenges? Do you think these challenges are caused by internal or external factors? What public needs are you fulfilling by serving this population? Have you participated in community engagement before? If so, describe your experience and if not, reflect on why you have not previously been civically engaged.
7. What is something that surprised you about this population? Why were you surprised? Describe a specific example where you practiced cultural relativity.
8. What are some of the strengths of this population? How might these strengths be used to overcome the previously identified challenges? The American Anthropological Association identifies the responsibilities of anthropologists in this order: responsibility to the people they study, to the public, to the discipline, to one’s own government and to the host government. Do you feel any of these responsibilities apply to your service? How might you handle competing responsibilities?
9. Have any of your pre-conceived views of the population you are serving changed? If so, which ones? Was there a specific event that led to this change? Were you faced with any ethical dilemmas?
10. Did this course and service-learning experience motivate you to participate civically long-term? Reflect on your past journal entries – have any of your thoughts changed?
11. What was the best part of your service learning experience? What was the worst part?
12. Would you recommend service learning to other students? Why or why not? Were the course objectives met through service learning? What would you change about your service-learning experience? This journal entry should be completed after you have finished your service hours.