Teaching students about complexity: Reflections about an interdisciplinary community service learning studio in East St Louis, Illinois

Lynne M. Dearborn, Stacy A. Harwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Teaching students to understand and fully engage various dimensions of dynamic urban complexity requires a pedagogy that imparts a deeper understanding than traditional lecture coursework. This paper presents a comprehensive set of class exercises and an evaluation of student learning related to urban complexity in the context of interdisciplinary service learning studios. Analyzing the processes and products employed in the class, student course reflections and responses from alumni interviews find most students effectively engaged with the dynamic urban complexity of East St. Louis, Illinois. They also reflect on tangible and intangible outcomes for neighborhood residents and lessons learned by the faculty members involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-151
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Urbanism
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Keywords

  • Community design
  • Community service-learning
  • Interdisciplinary problem-solving
  • Participatory action research
  • Undergraduate education
  • Urban complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies

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