Community-Based Learning

The Bonner Center supports Oberlin College faculty interested in integrating experiential opportunities that meet academic goals and who want to pursue research that addresses community-expressed needs in Oberlin and beyond.

The center offers resources in support of community-based learning (CBL) and community-based research (CBR) pedagogies and methodologies. Faculty at Oberlin teach more than two dozen community-based learning courses each year.

Sample courses have covered the environmental challenges many communities face and the ways in which social, political, and economic factors drive decision making; another course explored the conceptual and historical models of disability and the role of science in helping us understand disability. A course for artist-teachers examined strategies for teaching in diverse settings, alternative forms of music-making experiences, and current trends in music education. These and other community-based learning courses give faculty additional opportunities to teach and pursue research in areas of interest while addressing the expressed needs of the community.

Community Based Learning/Research (CBL/R) Faculty Fellowship Program    The Bonner Center's Faculty Fellowship program supports members of the faculty contributing to Community-Based Learning and Research (CBL/R) at Oberlin. In addition to developing an individual course or project, the Fellow will help expand and deepen understanding among the campus community about best practices and models of CBL/R and encourage Oberlin faculty to think creatively and collaboratively with community partners about how CBL/R can support student learning. The Bonner Community-Based Learning/Research Fellowship is open to members of the teaching faculty of the College and Conservatory who hold continuing appointments. Both individual and collaborative projects are eligible for support.

The CBL/R Faculty Fellow for the 2017-18 Academic Year is Katherine Thomson-Jones, Associate Professor of Philosophy, for her Philosophy in the Schools project. The Philosophy in the Schools (PHITS) practicum gives students a new community-engaged way to develop their philosophical skills and understanding, by teaching philosophy through children’s literature. Students will make 8 weekly visits to Eastwood Elementary School, working in pairs to lead lively philosophical discussions. The rest of the course will be taken up with preparation for and reflection on these visits.

For more information about the Community Based Learning/Research (CBL/R) Faculty Fellowship Program, please contact Tania Boster, Director, Bonner Center Curricular Initiatives at .

News & Announcements

CBL/R Workshop at Center for Teaching Innovation & Excellence (CTIE)

Friday, September 22, 2017

This workshop will feature College & Conservatory faculty and students who are teaching or participating in Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses.
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Bonner Community-Based Learning/Research Faculty Fellowship

Monday, April 03, 2017

Community-Based Learning/Research Faculty Fellowship Through a grant from the Bonner Foundation, one summer 2017 curriculum-development grant of $1,500 (pre-tax), plus funding to support a TA, RA, or community partner consultant, and conference participation costs, is available to a continuing member of the teaching faculty to develop a community-based learning course or conduct a community-based research project.
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Professional Development Workshop on Community-Based Teaching and Learning Thursday May 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Location TBD

Monday, April 03, 2017

In this half-day, hands-on, interactive workshop instructors are invited to bring their course proposal and/or syllabus to create a Community-Based Learning (CBL) course or revise an existing course to include a CBL component. All professors and A&PS staff with teaching appointments are encouraged to register. Guest facilitator Marshall Welch will work with the group on concepts and practices including: engaged pedagogy and scholarship, collaborating with community partners as co-educators, intercultural humility and cultural competency, framing CBL for tenure and promotion, and assessing student learning and community impact. Faculty will leave the workshop with concrete plans for integrating CBL into their particular course content.
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Faculty Workshop on CBL (Community-Based Learning) pedagogy and scholarship with featured speaker Albert Camarillo, Stanford University, Saturday, February 25, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Learn about integrating more traditional forms of academic research and teaching with CBL from experienced scholar-practitioners. Participating faculty will receive a $100 stipend; breakfast and lunch will be provided. Saturday, February 25, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Hotel at Oberlin
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Here are some highlights of Community-Based Research produced by Oberlin College & Conservatory Faculty, 2016-17

Janet Fiskio and Md Rumi Shammin, “Cultivating Community: Black Agrarianism in Cleveland, Ohio” -- Janet Fiskio, Md Rumi Shammin, and Vel Scott co-authored an article which appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of GASTRONOMICA: THE JOURNAL OF CRITICAL FOOD STUDIES.

Ann Cooper Albright's bookChoreographing Difference, has been translated into Greek by Nissos Press.

Julia Christensen, “During the RNC, Two Art Projects Amplify the Voices of Ohio’s Citizens” and “Before Protesting at the Republican National Convention, Learn to Protect Your Phone” -- Julia Christensen published two articles which discuss artwork on view in Cleveland throughout the Republican National Convention.

Gina Perez, “In defense of Ohio’s sanctuary cities” -- Gina Perez published an op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about sanctuary cities.

Community-Based Learning

Tania Boster
(440) 775-5390