The Practical Side of Aligning Intention and Action: Taking Inspiration from Dr. Tania Mitchell’s Visit

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 8.19.29 PMAs part of the 20 year celebration of the PSU Capstone Program, I had the opportunity to attend two different events led by Dr. Tania Mitchell in the last week.  Dr. Mitchell’s focus on aligning intention with action was just what I needed.  I have been facing a real desire to revise my Culminating Reflection for the Social Justice in K-12 Education Capstone for a few terms now, and I had just needed something to light my fire and to get me going.

While aligning intention and action is not a new concept for those of us teaching critical community-based learning courses, it is often the case that examining one’s own assignments or course structure can show us that there is always room for more growth.

For me, there are a few different course components that I’d like to revise and align better with course goals and intentions in the next year.  One of those components is the culminating reflection, a long-standing staple of the community-based learning experience.  I have moved the reflection closer to what I want it to be, from a more static report on how student experiences meet the University Studies goals, to options ranging from writing an advocacy letter to creating personal goals for continued social action, the framing still needs a little work.

I, like all of us, I suppose, never feel like I have enough time to really dive into the revision and self-assessment process of my courses at length.  I self-evaluate, listen to my students, listen to the literature, and revise little moments in my course every term, each moment adding up to bigger change over time.  This time around, being inspired by Dr. Mitchell’s sharing in addition to being part of several recent gatherings celebrating 20 years of the Capstone experience, I’m diving in to revise my culminating reflection with more intention.

Is it perfect?  No.  Is it closer?  Yes.  Much closer.  If you want to take a look, I’m sharing the assignment here.  The sharing is also part of aligning another piece of my own intentions and actions in the field and in our program.  I want to help us build our community of practice, to receive feedback, and to grow in my teaching.  I want to provide opportunities for my students to do the same.  Intentions and actions.

Are you working on revision in your course on some level?  What are you working on?  How’s it going?  Let’s share!




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