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Community Service Learning

Perspectives sur l'expérience bénévole

Mélanie Bost-Fievet

This is a year-long experiential course, offered for the first time in 2008-09, that gives students an opportunity to learn the history and current state of volunteer organizations in France via academic research and reflection (written essays, oral reports, journal entries) and actual community service.

In the first semester the professor will assist students in discovering appropriate areas for volunteer work and will present, in class, information concerning the history of community service in France; the creation and development of such associations as Les Restos du coeur, SOS Racisme, Greenpeace France, etc.; the relationship between community service and civic duty; and the general question of "activism" in France.

In the second semester, the professor will lead discussions of issues such as womens' rights and the role of women in volunteer work; the relationship between volunteer work and the media; human rights, animal rights and environmental activism; the public health system and the role of the community in improving it. In addition, students will share and reflect upon their individual experiences as volunteers.

Grades will be based on class participation, oral presentations and written reports.