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As stated in APA Learning Outcomes 2 and 3, two central goals of higher education instruction are promoting students’ critical thinking skills and connecting student learning to real-life applications. To meet these goals, a community-based service-learning experience was designed using task value, interpersonal accountability, cognitive dissonance, and guided reflection, and was implemented to motivate and promote students’ critical thinking skills in a human development psychology course. Students in this course served as home visitors or support-group facilitators to vulnerable families and reflected on their experiences in class assignments. Qualitative evidence from class discussions and journal entries, and quantitative data from the analysis of student essays, suggest that the majority of students engaged in critical thinking skills across the semester, particularly in using a broader locus for understanding and addressing issues experienced by their client families.

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Campbell, Cynthia G. & Oswald, Brianna R., Promoting Critical Thinking Through Service Learning: A Home-Visiting Case Study, Teaching of Psychology, 45(2), pp. 193-199. Copyright © 2018, SAGE. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. doi: 10.1177/0098628318762933