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Meeting new people and developing group cohesion can be difficult and scary at

times. It is critical that people learn basic information about one another from the
outset of any experience. This will allow members of your group to have fun and
begin to develop friendships. We have identified several fun and fast icebreakers for
various situations. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun!

The Theory behind Reflection

Service-learning is deeply rooted in the action-reflection
theories of John Dewey and David Kolb, who both describe
the importance of combining individual action and
engagement with reflective thinking to develop greater
understanding of the content being studied (Crews 1999).
Kolb is widely cited for providing a scientific interpretation of
reflection (Olson 2000). Kolb illustrates the process of
reflection in the Experiential Learning Cycle (Figure 1). The
process begins with a defining and sharing of
the What? of the student's experience and follows a
continuous cycle towards So What? and Now
What?. Answers to the what, so what and now what
questions are tied together to form a comprehensive and
integrated discovery and learning cycle for the student
throughout the duration of a service-learning experience
(Eyler 1999).

Strategies for fostering reflection

Effective strategies for fostering reflection are based on four
core elements of reflection known as the four C's (Eyler and
Giles 1999). These elements are described below:

Continuous: The reflective process is implemented and

maintained continuously before, during and after the

service-learning experience.
o Connected: The service experience is directly linked, or
connected, to the learning objectives of the course or
activity and allows for synthesizing action and thought.
o Challenging: Learners are challenged to move from
surface learning to deeper, critical thinking through the use
of thought provoking strategies by the instructor or
community facilitator. Since learners may encounter
uncomfortable feelings, it is important that the students
feel they are in a safe and mutually respectful atmosphere
where they can freely express their opinions, ideas and
o Contextualized: Reflection is contextualized when it
corresponds to the course content, topics and experience
in a meaningful way.

What is a reflection journal?

In experiential learning you are both a participant and
observer. As a participant you will be contributing to the
organization in which you are placed and learning new skills.
But this is not what makes the experience worthy of
academic credit. The academic component of your
community service results from your ability to systematically
observe what is going on around you. This requires a kind of
mental gymnastics that does not come without training and
tools. A well- written journal is a tool, which helps you
practice the quick movements back and forth from the
environment in which you are working to the abstract
generalizations you have read or heard in class.

How do you write a reflection journal?

As with any tool, beneficial use of a journal takes practice.
You must force yourself to just start writing. You should write
an entry for each day you attend your community service
and it should be written immediately upon leaving the
community service. At the risk of taking the spontaneity out
of it, here are some tips on keeping a journal during your
community service.
A journal is not a diary you are not merely recounting the
happenings of the day. Your entries, to be sure are based on
the activities of the day, but they are more. Below are
several ways in which you can move beyond a mere
chronology of events.
Detailed description as if to an outsider. Often you will use
your journal to record detailed descriptions of some aspect of
your internship environment, whether physical, behavioral, or
organizational. When you write them, you will not have a
clear idea of what you will make of these details, but you will
sense that they might be important later. These descriptions
should sound as if you were describing them to someone who
was never there. Journals allow you to sound nave.

Tentative explanations. At times you will want to speculate as

to why something that you have observed firsthand is as it is.
You might derive your explanation from a lecture you have
heard, a book you have read, or your own reservoir of
common sense. Having posited an interpretation, you will
want to continue with your detailed observations on the topic
to see if you want to stick with your hypothesis or alter it.
Journals allow you to change your mind.
Personal judgments. Less often you can use your journal to
make judgments about something in your community service
environment. There may be peoples actions that you find
unpleasant, ways of doing things that are not as you would
do them, work environments in which you would not want to
remain. These judgments will help you learn about yourself,
your values and your limits. Journals allow you to speak your

Getting Started
So, buy a notebook or start a computer file. Date each entry.
Have an entry for each day you attended your placement.
Each entry should be at least a page or two in length. Write
your first entry on the process of finding your placement.
Write your second entry on your first impressions at your
placement. Then take off on your own.

What Should I Write in My Journal?

Here are a few of the ingredients that go into a keeping a
great journal:

Journals should be snapshots filled with sights, sounds,

smells, concerns, insights, doubts, fears, and critical
questions about issues, people, and, most importantly,

Honesty is the most important ingredient to successful


A journal is not a work log of tasks, events, times and


Write freely. Grammar/spelling should not be stressed in

your writing until the final draft.

Write an entry after each visit. If you cant write a full

entry, jot down random thoughts, images, etc. which you
can come back to a day or two later and expand into a
colorful verbal picture.

Structuring Your Writing:


Use the journal as a time to meditate on what youve

seen, felt, and experienced, and which aspects of the
volunteer experience continues to excite, trouble, impress,
or unnerve you.

Dont simply answer the questions listed below, but use

the questions as a diving board to leap from into a clear or
murky pool of thought. Use the questions to keep your
writing/swimming focused.

Final journals need to be edited for proper grammar and

spelling. The Three Levels of Reflection

The Three Levels of Reflection

The Mirror (A clear reflection of the Self)

Who am I?

What are my values?

What have I learned about myself through this


Do I have more/less understanding or empathy than I did

before volunteering?

In what ways, if any, has your sense of self, your values,

your sense of community, your willingness to serve
others, and your self-confidence/self-esteem been
impacted or altered through this experience?

Have your motivations for volunteering changed? In what


How has this experience challenged stereotypes or

prejudices you have/had? Any realizations, insights, or
especially strong lessons learned or half-glimpsed?

Will these experiences change the way you act or think in

the future? Have you given enough, opened up enough,
cared enough?

How have you challenged yourself, your ideals, your

philosophies, your concept of life or of the way you live?

The Microscope (Makes the small experience large)


What happened?

Describe your experience.

What would you change about this situation if you were in

charge? What have you learned about this agency, these
people, or the community?

Was there a moment of failure, success, indecision, doubt,

humor, frustration, happiness, sadness?

Do you feel your actions had any impact?

What more needs to be done? Does this experience

compliment or contrast with what youre learning in class?

Has learning through experience taught you more, less, or

the same as the class? In what ways?

The Binoculars (Makes what appears distant, appear


From your service experience, are you able to identify any

underlying or overarching issues that influence the
What could be done to change the situation?

How will this alter your future behaviors/attitudes/and


How is the issue/agency youre serving impacted by what

is going on in the larger political/social sphere?

What does the future hold?

What can be done?

Journal Samples to get you started

Excerpt from Honors Service Learning Student
Reflection Journal
Today I got to really to really help people. It was such a thrill
to use my knowledge to really help people. Generally I see
my skills as somewhat esoteric. Being a history student
sometimes feels a bit wasteful. But today I helped a middleaged woman called Marie. To her passing the language
section of the GED really means something concrete. My one
semester of Spanish really helped. I couldnt really say
anything useful, but I could use little examples to help him:
What would the Spanish word for it be here? Los? Thats
plural isnt it? In English los is always them, not it. Its so
nice to feel useful.
Apparently my background check still hasnt gone through,
and Im not supposed to be helping. I know this is a side
issue, but it is one of the things about volunteering that
upsets me. When a potential volunteer approaches an

opportunity full of enthusiasm, and a background check takes

over a week, and no one contacts her, it is easy to quickly
loose that enthusiasm. I was the only person assisting the
two teachers; they clearly needed me. But I no one
contacted me about the classes starting. I had to take my
own initiative. I dont feel particularly wanted by the
organization. This has been a problem for me in the past
when I tried to volunteer. It seems sometimes organizations
think people who are not being paid dont care about details.
October 13th
Today was a little slow, so I got to chat with Jane. She only
works on Saturdays at the clinic then does outreaches during
the rest of the week, so I hardly get to see her. She was
giving me advice about Nursing school as she went back to
school to do her Nursing degree. Shes always so grateful as
the work I do saves her from having to stay over an hour or
so just to complete her paper work. Most of the people who
work at the clinic have children, so it surprises me that they
still hang on to the job especially since it takes so much of
their free time and they dont get paid for any overtime
hoursthat is what I call dedication!
We also got a new Medical Assistant. Shes called Helen and
will be working in the lab sometimes; God knows Martha
needs that help. Shes really nice too, but we have to share
her with the clinic in Butler, so thats a bummer.
September 6, 2001
My first day and already I am reminded of why I love doing
thisthose revelations about your life that you can only
acquire while being a part of others. If I wanted to be bland I
could say that I spent the day teaching homeless children
how to make pop up cards, but that would not do justice to
what really happened. It was bitter sweet, to have the
importance of a mothers care in hard times highlighted in

front of me, while the pain of the recent loss of my own

mother is still strong and undoubtedly will always be.
Alva didnt think twice about who she would make a card for
her mama she proclaimed proudly. She chatted away on
how her mother worked late at the ballpark and I could sense
just how proud she was of her mother as she described her
mothers work duties, she works the register and sometimes
she makes the food. I knew the feeling, my own mother was
a welder, the only woman where she worked and although
many people would look down at the job, I was very proud.
The burns on her arms and the dirt under her fingernails
showed me just how much she loved me. She worked for all
of us and it didnt matter that I didnt have everything
because I had all that mattered. It gave me hope that,
although the current situation Alva found herself in at such a
young age was difficult, she was going to be alright maybe
better than a lot of kids sleeping in their own beds because in
her life she had what really mattered. That can make all the
Yesterday I held the card that my mother had sent me when
I first went away for college. I cant express how much it
meant to me, maybe even more than when I first received it.
It read, Im missing somethingyou. Gosh, how it seems so
appropriate yet so ironic. I was thinking of how exactly I
would start my creative project class for this coursewhat
better way than a scrapbookwith a card to my own mother
to start.
Copyright 2015 STARS Computing Corps
The STARS Celebration is supported by the National Science
Foundation under Grant No. CNS-1042468

What Is Transformational
How Transformational Leadership Inspire

Leadership and People


Leaders Develop Leaders

What Is Leadership


Role of Leadership

Positive Psychology

PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson / Getty Images

Kendra Cherry
Psychology Expert

Have you ever been in a group where someone took control of the situation by conveying a
clear vision of the group's goals, a marked passion for the work, and an ability to make the
rest of the group feel recharged and energized? This person just might be what is called a
transformational leader.
Transformational leadership is a type of leadership style that can inspire positive changes in
those who follow.
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Leadership and People


Leaders Develop Leaders

What Is Leadership

Transformational leaders are generally energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate. Not only are
these leaders concerned and involved in the process; they are also focused on helping
every member of the group succeed as well.

The History of Transformational Leadership

The concept of transformational leadership was initially introduced by leadership expert and
presidential biographer James MacGregor Burns. According to Burns, transformational
leadership can be seen when "leaders and followers make each other to advance to a
higher level of moral and motivation." Through the strength of their vision and personality,
transformational leaders are able to inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions,
and motivations to work towards common goals.
Later, researcher Bernard M. Bass expanded upon Burns' original ideas to develop what is
today referred to as Bass Transformational Leadership Theory. According to Bass,
transformational leadership can be defined based on the impact that it has on followers.
Who Is The Real You?
Redefine What You Are Capable Of By Learning Free Visualization.
Transformational leaders, Bass suggested, garner trust, respect, and admiration from their

The Components of Transformational Leadership

Bass also suggested that there were four different components of transformational
1. Intellectual Stimulation Transformational leaders not only
challenge the status quo; they also encourage creativity among
followers. The leader encourages followers to explore new ways
of doing things and new opportunities to learn.
2. Individualized Consideration Transformational leadership
also involves offering support and encouragement to individual
followers. In order to foster supportive relationships,

transformational leaders keep lines of communication open so

that followers feel free to share ideas and so that leaders can
offer direct recognition of the unique contributions of each
3. Inspirational Motivation Transformational leaders have a
clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These
leaders are also able to help followers experience the same
passion and motivation to fulfill these goals.
4. Idealized Influence The transformational leader serve as a
role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the
leader, they emulate this individual and internalize his or her

In their classic text, Transformational Leadership, authors Bass and Riggio explained:
"Transformational leaders...are those who stimulate and inspire followers to both achieve
extraordinary outcomes and, in the process, develop their own leadership capacity.
Transformational leaders help followers grow and develop into leaders by responding to

individual followers' needs by empowering them and by aligning the objectives and goals of
the individual followers, the leader, the group, and the larger organization."
Researchers have found that this style of leadership can have a positive effect on the group.
"Research evidence clearly shows that groups led by transformational leaders have higher
levels of performance and satisfaction than groups led by other types of leaders," explained
psychologist and leadership expert Ronald E. Riggio in an article appearing on
the Psychology Today website. The reason, he suggests, is that transformational leaders
believe that their followers can do their best, leading members of the group to feel inspired
and empowered.
Bass,B. M. (1985).

Leadership and Performance. N. Y,: Free Press.

Bass, B. M. & Riggio, R. E. (2008).

Burns, J. M. (1978).

Transformational Leadership. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Leadership. N.Y: Harper and Raw.

Riggio, R.E. (2009, March 24). Are you a transformational leader.


Psychology Today. Found online at

Leadership Linked to
Positive Effects on WellBeing

Leadership and People


Well Being

Leadership at Workplace

Employee Wellbeing

Employee Training

Positive Psychology

One study finds that transformational leadership contributes to greater well-being. /
Digital Vision / Getty Images

Kendra Cherry
Psychology Expert

Transformational leadership is a style that is often linked to positive group outcomes. What
exactly is a transformational leader? These individuals are often described as inspiring,
energetic, passionate, and enthusiastic. They focus on sharing their vision with the group
and helping followers succeed. According to the results of one study, this style of leadership
can also have a positive influence on employee well-being.
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Leadership and People

Well Being

Leadership at Workplace
Employee Wellbeing

Study Suggests Transformational Leadership Linked to Well-Being

The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, involved
surveying workers as several different German information and communication technology
companies. Researchers asked participants to answers questions about their employer's
leadership style. A score for transformational leadership was then determined based on
qualities such as providing intellectual stimulation, giving positive feedback for good
performance, leading by example, and helping employees feel like they were making a
contribution toward the goals of the group.
The researchers discovered that employees who identified a higher level of transformational
leadership in their employers also had higher reported levels of well-being. The effect stayed

significant even after researchers controlled for factors that are linked to well-being such as
job strain, education, and age.
"The results of this study suggest that a transformational leadership style, which both
conveys a sense of trust and meaningfulness and individually challenges and develops
employees, also has a positive effect on employee well-being," the authors summarized.
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Real-World Applications
So what impact could such results have for managers and workers? The study's authors
suggest that the results are important and can help companies develop leadership training
programs that can be used to teach transformational leadership skills. Acquiring
communication skills such as resolving conflicts in the workplace and recognizing the needs
of employees are an important part of transformational leadership.
"Such training programs can be seen as another essential component of workplace health
promotion and prevention efforts and therefore should receive wide support," explained the
study's authors.