Introduction to reflection guides

What follows is a series of reflection guides on a variety of topics that were prepared by a research team of student coordinators in the Service-Learning Center at Calvin College with support from a venture grant through the Michigan Campus Compact and an Americorps VISTA Summer Associate.

These guides were created for use by faculty, staff members, and student leaders who are charged with facilitating meaningful reflection conversations among student participants in service-learning experiences. We affirm the importance of reflection for service-learning to be an effective pedagogy. The contents of the reflection guides provide some useful tools for such conversations in a variety of settings.

Each guide provides some of the following resources

  • helpful definitions to ensure a shared vocabulary for the conversation
  • relevant statistics about the topic
  • suggested media seleceted to provoke thought and connect the experience with academic and literary ideas
  • accompanying questions to promote discussion
  • a listing of local or national organizations that offer additional service or advocacy opportunities

We hope that these resources are useful in equipping facilitators for reflective conversation. Please review these sheets and practice using them with the students with whom you work.

These resources are, by design, works in process. As you make use of them, please share your feedback with us. We would like to know which resources were particularly successful in promoting reflective conversation, and which were not. Notify us if information is outdated. Share ideas for additional resources that would be helpful for us to include and share others.

We offer special thanks to Michigan Campus Compact and the research team: Ana Meekhof, Allison Meyaard, Cameron Navis, Kyle Schaap, Owen Selles, and Benjamin Stark

If you have any suggestions or comments on what we can improve, please contact us at or 616-526-6455.